The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How Long Do Your Long, Cold, Slow, Bulk Fermented Doughs Take??

baltochef's picture

How Long Do Your Long, Cold, Slow, Bulk Fermented Doughs Take??

I am trying to gain a greater understanding of the process of long, cold, slow, bulk dough fermentation..For those members that use this process regularly, I am curious to know what length of time that your doughs, both lean and sweet (if you build sweet doughs using this method), take from the time they are finished being kneaded, until they are ready to bake in the oven??..Is there an optimun time for this process that you feel lends itself to full flavor development??..Please state (if you can) the amount of time spent in the refrigerator, the temperature of the dough when it begins its stay in the cold, the temperature of the dough upon coming out of the cold, the temperature of the room or proof box used to warm up the dough, and the methodology that you use to finish the build after removing the dough from the cold refrigerator to the warmth of the room or proof box..

Thanks, Bruce

Rosalie's picture

I mix my dough, starting with cool water, one evening, doing some kneading.  Then I stick it in the refrigerator.  I'm not particularly scientific about it, and your questions are pretty specific.  I'd say my bread is typically in the fridge for less than 24 hours.  I take it out a couple hours or so before I expect to shape.

It's mostly a matter of convenience for me.  It's easier to do a little bit here and a little bit there than to schedule everything at once.

It does improve the flavor, but the effect is subtle.  With sweeter doughs, the subtlety gets lost, I think.