The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

cold ferment "skin"

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TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

cold ferment "skin"

I love fermenting my dough in the fridge, but every time I do so, I get this really tough skin on my dough. I cover it with a towel, and yet, it still forms. This skin makes it extremely hard to shape the loaf and/or score the loaf (it's pretty much impossible to pinch it together). I could work around it, but it's a pain. Anybody have any idea as of how to deal with it?


TeaIV

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi TealV.  I imagine that air can move through the towel, drying out the dough a bit.  Plus a towel won't provide a barrier between the dough and any strong odors in the 'fridge (i.e. onions and the like).


I form my loaves before retarding them, then give them a light spray of oil before covering them with plastic wrap (the oil keeps the plastic from sticking to the dough).


What works really well are those large food-grade plastic bags that are available in the produce departments of box stores like Wal-Mart.  I find that I can slide my cookie sheet containing two loaves of bread inside one bag.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I do much as what Lindy described.


I bought a couple sizes of "bakery bags" from KAF. Each comes in a package of 100. I retard formed loaves in bannetons, which these bags hold easily.


I also use the bags to freeze breads double-wrapped in "Freeze-Tite" plasti-crap. I reuse the bags several times, until they get cruddy looking or smell too strongly of the cinnamon bread they last held in the freezer.


David

Yippee's picture
Yippee

LindyD:


Can you be a bit more specific as to in what section of Wal-Mart can I find these bags? I was just thinking about them while I was viewing the 'Stretch and Fold' video. Thank you. 


 


Yippee

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I do the same: cover the loaf with a produce bag. If I don't have one that's long enough, I just use two--put on one at each end. It seems to work fine.


--Pamela

LindyD's picture
LindyD

They are on rolls and are 27 inches long.  Great for carrying greens and other veggies. Reusable a few times if you're gentle handling the bag.


Maverick's picture
Maverick

If you don't have the bags, you can wrap it loosely in plastic wrap. A towel just is not enough for the fridge. Spraying the dough with oil helps too as mentioned above.

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

thank you everybody! next time I will definitely try a plastic bag/wrap. I just didn't think it was the towel... how silly of me.

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Try using a moist towel or couche.  That should do the trick.  Just soak the towel/couche in water and then wring it out, so that most of the water is squeezed out.

plevee's picture
plevee

I use (reuse) supermarket plastic bags, one for each brotform or bowl of dough. The bags can be tied at the top to include enough air to prevent them ever touching the dough.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

If those plastic bags have transported  raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs, I don't think it is wise to use them in such a manner.

dabigo's picture
dabigo

I use the cheap/inexpensive 42oz containers from GLAD or Ziploc with the covers. I have poked a fork through the lids for venting, but I never get any skin on the dough. How long is the dough in the fridge? I've kept mine for close to 10 days in those containers and all is well.


Mjo

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

that sounds like amuch better idea! I tried a regular bag, but it wasn't really that helpful. Thanks, Mjo!

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Reynolds Turkey Sized Oven Roasting Bags work well and are reuseable.  They're made from a type of nylon (mylar) a more robust plastic than polyethylene.


+Wild-Yeast

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

tried plastic bag, it didn't work. might have been a bad knot, though. I prefer to cold ferment when the dough is proofing, that way, it's already shaped, and I avoid the problem. the only down-side is that my bread looks funny because I don't have a proofing basket yet. I should invest in one of those...