The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can I bake a loaf first thing in the morning?

ginnyj's picture
ginnyj

Can I bake a loaf first thing in the morning?

Is it possible to make bread dough the night before, leave it on the counter overnight and bake it first thing in the morning?  I would love to have fresh bread to take to work for my lunch.


I haven't done much bread baking but have done alot of reading about it and it does sound fun and good but requires a bit of pre-planning, which I'm not too good at.


Thanks


Ginny


 

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

I think the timing would be tough


 


Nothing's impossible, but depending on how much time you have between when you get up and have to leave, it could be tough. Anything left to bulk ferment or proof overnight is probably going to be way past it's peak in the 8 hours or so we sleep. A couple things that might work-


 


1. Shape loaf and allow to proof overnight in fridge. Probably needs 45 minutes or so to take the chill off before it goes in the oven.


2. For baguettes, I've done overnight bulk ferments, shaped and proofed 30 minutes or so, and they spring pretty well. Not a very open crumb, but tasty bread.

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I've been baking loaves straight from the fridge recently, with no warm up time needed, not even while the oven gets up to temperature, and they have worked out just fine. Better, in fact, than warmed up, in terms of oven spring.


The problem I would have would be waiting for the loaves to cool down to slice for sandwiches.


Jeremy

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

Because it's designed for just that.  If you do an internet search, you will find the master recipe with detailed instructions of  how to do it so you can try it out.  The book is wonderful and their new book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, comes out in about 2 weeks.


I keep a batch of their dough in my fridge almost all the time.  A batch of dough will last up to two weeks and give you several days of fresh bread without a lot of pre-planning. 


Before showering in the morning, I take out a piece of dough and shape it in a boule or loaf or rolls and leave it on parchment to proof.  I preheat the oven during breakfast, and after I drop the little kid at school I slash my dough and pop it in the oven.  I make my lunch and tidy the kitchen while it's baking.  When it's done I put it on a rack to cool, TURN OFF THE OVEN (very important!) and go to work. 


It is so nice to come home to fresh bread and the lovely smell lingers in the house.  Even better with a meal waiting in the crockpot--then it feels like some unseen cook made dinner for us! 


Sometimes I wrap the fresh from the oven loaf in a towel and take it to work with me--I'm very popular with my office mates!


There are people here on TFL who look down on this sort of short cut baking, but it tastes great and sure works for people who can't stay home all day to babysit dough.  I save the "real" bread baking for weekends. 


Janknitz

ginnyj's picture
ginnyj

I  have tried "Artesan Bread in Five Minutes A Day" and didn't care for the flavor. What I'm wishing for tonight is to be able to mix the dough,  knead it as necessary, and let it rest in my cool kitchen overnight and then pop it into the oven in the morning.  I have one hour before I leave for work.  I know I may be asking too much, but thought I'd ask. 


Thanks!


Ginny


 

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

I'm not sure about your oven, but mine takes at least 30 minutes to get up to baking temp (and really should have more so the oven itself, not just the air is hot). So this probably gives you about 30 minutes (tops) to bake and cool to the point you can take it with you. My baguettes will bake in that without too much time to warm up out of the fridge. I use a chicago Metallic perforated baguette pan, which i think is 3 16 inch loaves.  I portion each loaf at about 315 grams. I do the loaves with some steam at 500 degrees and they are done in about 15 minutes, but then they are crazy hot when they come out.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

Sorry you don't like the ArtIsan Bread in 5, I guess I have plebian tastes ;o)


But maybe a sourdough is the answer.  Something that could take 8 hours or so of final proofing.  You could shape the loaf before bed, and it would be ready to bake when you wake.  You'll have to poke around for a recipe with a long final proofing period. 


And there was a good suggestion by someone else to use the delay timer funtion on your oven (many ovens have these) to have the oven turn itself on so it will be just the right temp when you wake up, and you can just throw the bread in first thing. 


Good luck, and don't be late!

ericb's picture
ericb

The first thing that comes to mind is Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough (the recipe is posted on these forums). He recommends shaping the loaves at night and then putting them immediately in the fridge for 8-14 hours. I put the cold, shaped loaves directly into a hot oven. 


I think you should try this with your usual recipe and see what happens. Use a lot of extra flour in your couche or proofing bowl, and put the whole thing in a plastic bag so that the dough doesn't dry out.


Be sure to post back here and let us know how it goes!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

before you get up.  That way you can just slide it in and pour nuked water on the lava rocks for steam.    Anything's possible.


Mini

H20loo's picture
H20loo

So, how late could you be if you bring fresh bread with you?


I haven't tried that yet. I always arrive empty handed and in trouble!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

out of the oven, turned everything off and ran out the door with the bread.  I used a large square dishtowel and placed the loaf in the middle, then tied opposite corners into simple knots to carry.  Another is to use a cloth carry bag and just hang it in the car by the suit hooks or somehow onto the passenger side of the head rest into the back seat.  Hanging the bread too close to your head will make you go crazy enough to devour the loaf before you get to work (or pot luck, or family gathering, or party, or church.)  Don't forget the knife!


Mini


I was thinking... what if one were to place the shaped (frozen?) dough on a perforated pan (on a rack) and cover the oiled dough with crushed ice placing it in a cold oven.  Then go to bed setting the timer to heat an hour before getting up.  The water drips down onto cold lava rocks where it awaits the automatic heating up of the electric oven. 


Timing would have to be rehearsed and the ice might delay rising only an extra hour.  Upon rising, the water tray is removed releasing steam from the oven and the loaf finishes baking.  Hows that for a complicated solution to an uncomplicated question?

Mitch550's picture
Mitch550

Ginny,


You may want to take a look at this.


http://www.breadtopia.com/basic-no-knead-method/


I've made the basic bread and also the one with the steel cut oats.  I use 2/3 KA bread flour and 1/3 KA whole wheat flour.  I also add vital wheat gluten to help the rise. If you want my formulas I'll be glad to post them.  The breads are quite good and recipients have loved them.  I find that 12 hours for fermentation at 70-75F is sufficient.


You'll still need 1-1/2 to 2 hours for the second rise plus about 45 minutes to bake in a covered cast iron pot, or stoneware or terra cotta baker, although I read that at least one person using this method doesn't bother with the second rise and relies on getting the rise in the oven, but I never tried doing that.


Good luck.


Mitch


 

ginnyj's picture
ginnyj

Thank you all for your ideas and comments.  I've learned alot from them.   I think I've learned that it is probably not possible to do what I'd hoped for.  That's ok, I just needed to be told that.


 


I need to just get into baking real loaves of bread that take 1-2 days.  I know that's how I'm going to get the flavor I'm looking for.  With winter coming soon, being home to bake bread should be easy.


 


On my next day off I'm going to buy unglazed quarry tiles.  I have a pizza stone but have read the quarry tiles are best. Slowly but surely I'm gathering the necessary equipment!   I look forward to making many wonderful loaves of bread as you guys have.


 


Many thanks again for your time.


Ginny