The Fresh Loaf

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Overnight retardation with no refrigerator?

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tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Overnight retardation with no refrigerator?

Hi,


  We just moved from Fairbanks, AK down to Anchorage and are renting a smallish duplex ...with a smallish fridge ...no room for containers of dough being retarded overnight.  It is below freezing outside, so that's not an option either.  No garage either.  Have any of you experimented with other techniques for chilling dough overnight, but outside of a fridge?  Big bowl of ice water surrounding a bowl of dough?  Any other ideas?  And don't ask me how to retard formed loaves without a fridge either... sigh.  We'll be in this duplex for 3 to 9 months and I really don't want to have to avoid using retardation techniques... sigh.


Brian


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hey Brian,


I have used ice packs in a cooler to retard dough with success. You could probably cool off a beer cooler outside first and put a shovel of snow in and bring it inside.


I've had the best luck with the cheap Styrofoam kind you can pick up in the gas station around here. Just a couple bucks.


Eric

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Sounds like a good idea ...oh!  I just remembered something.  The local stores sell insulated boxes that are designed to carry around 40# of fish or other meat that are more rectangular inside... Maybe I'll pick one up on the way home and experiment with it (snow, thermometer, plastic container with room temp water in it to represent dough.)  I wonder if they are waterproof enough to keep melt water inside?  Hmmm....


Brian


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I suppose you have access to great fresh fish for cheap prices up there? I've looked at some of those "direct from the fisherman" sites but I need to get some friends together so the shipping makes sense. Just dreaming of wild salmon today:>)


Eric

Arbyg's picture
Arbyg

Hello, I have a couple of ideas for you if you like your aged dough you have couple of options depending on your baking schedule. One you can increase the amount of pre-ferment in your dough(then make and bake) to give you that overnight taste and crust or you can simply omit any yeast in the final dough. Example I use to have to take a day off in the bakery and needed to have all the breads made for two days out. So I removed yeast from recipe added only my biga for example and the dough took 6-8 hours to rise so just before I was ready to go home I shaped breads and put them away for two days in cooler. You don't have cooler but your only baking one day to the next the same would work for you you mix during day shape at night and bake in morning the bread comes out with beautiful texture with very rustic crumb. Happy baking , let me know if you'd like a formula.

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Actually, the fish cooler sounds like a good idea. I've heard that they use those to ship flu vaccines around Alaska (clean ones, of course).


As an alternative, I have successfully retarded dough outside a fridge by cutting down the yeast and just leaving the dough out at room temperature.

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

a friend of mine whent on a vacation in AK once.  He told me it whent up to 35 degres one day and the eskamos were walking around in tank tops.!!


if you put that insulated box out side maybe it would keep enough of the cold out of the box to keep the dough aroung 40 or so, if you get one of thouse boxes ged an indoor out door thermomator


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2502927


and put the outdoor probe in the box and set it out side for the night then check the temp

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

you beat me to that one!  I would test it first with a container of water to see how cold it really does get before I risk my dough in it.  I like the idea of watching the temp with a wireless thermometer.


Mini

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

I have a couple of those thermometers with the remote sensing bulb.  I think they are designed for the oven, but I'll check... maybe they go low enough, maybe not.  Definitely have some experiments ahead of me...


Brian


PS: I'm going to try Eric's reduced leaven method as well... It's all good.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Cheap fish?  Sorta.  The store prices are as high as elsewhere since there are plenty of people to buy it, including the tourists (which we have nearly year 'round.)


But it's cheap for us.  Combo hunting/fishing license is cheap, and thanks to successful bank fishing and taking part in the 'personal use' fishery for reds (Copper River Sockeye ...finest in the land!), we generally have between 40 and 50 salmon in the freezer this time of year ...for about $100 in gas and sundries.  I sleep in the van.  We also have halibut, ling cod, rock fish, and prawns.  And lesser stuff like burbot, trout, and arctic char.  And rabbit, and grouse, and ptarmigan.  I've never worked hard to get a moose, bear, or caribou but will some day.  It always seems like I can't spare the time to take a week+ off for those things ...but I will sometime.  It's not like we need the meat.  We can hardly keep up with the fish as it is.  There are only 52 weeks in the year, so we generally eat at least one whole fish per week.


Brian


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Brian,


I think Gaarp had the best idea when he said to lower the yeast level so you don't have to cool the dough when you leave it at room temp. Personally I don't like to retard dough unless it's for a sour wharf bread. Your kitchen is probably cool anyway.


I make a daily SD bread about 3-4 times a week that begins in the early evening after dinner with 1 heaping Tablespoon of starter (50g), 325g water, 500g flours (450g AP/50g rye), 10g salt. I mix it together with a plastic scraper, knead for a few minutes and leave it covered until the next day. This morning the kitchen temp was 68F and the dough was starting to get puffy. I stretched-folded twice and am about to set it for the final ferment. This dough gets very little kneading as time takes care of gluten development. I think I could get away with one stretch and fold in the morning, shaping, baking at dinner time if I reduced the starter to 25g.


You are making me drool with the sportsman's freezer. Copper river salmon are usually $15-18 per pound in these parts and worth every penny.


Eric

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

So you're saying that I pulled out about $3600 worth of Copper River Sockeye this year?  It's more like $12/lb here in Anchorage ...when it's available.


Brian


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I've seen it on sale for $12 I think but by the time we see it weeks have passed.


Eric

ericjs's picture
ericjs

You could get a mini-fridge. You can often buy a used one for really cheap, especially if you live near a college, where twice a year lots of people are moving out of a dorm and trying to unload one.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

I've got one already, and a William's Brewing Supply temperature controller for it so I can ferment at any temperature from 32 F up to 60 F ...Just don't have a place to put it in our current surroundings.  A cooler, fish box, or similar can be put into my boat when not being used, e.g. outside under a carport, not inside and crowding our limited space.  But thanks!  Great idea!  And I already followed your advice!


 


Brian


 

abdosoliman's picture
abdosoliman

you live in big big refrigerator outside your house. (20-30 F At night) and you can retard your dough in your house without. I live in springfield MO, we have night temp. of 40's and I use my porch. if you want to be precise use a thermometer to measure the temp. around your house you will be surprised by the variability. The optimum temp for yeast activity is  you only need temp. is 99 F,  below 50 F yeast activity is very low. 

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

I resorted to using a pyrex dish carrier to retard my dough.  Using one of the cooler packs that I keep in the fridge, alongside an ice pack, I was able to successfully retard my roll dough through the night.  I just put everything inside and zipped it up...but then I was only doing a regular batch of sourdough rolls and not loaves of bread.


Depending on your volume of dough, you may not even require a separate container.   I can see where you could use a bag of ice in the sink (bottom), then the bowl containing your dough, and then some old heavy towels (or a blanket) over the top.  I'm sure it would stay cool enough through the evening at your local.  It would probably even do it at mine as long as Gulf air wasn't blowing north and creating a warm cap.


Keep us posted as to what you come up with.  It's always fun to read others ideas.

mysteryshrimp's picture
mysteryshrimp

I use a large Igloo cooler as a proofing box, with an electric blanket, towel, and a wireless thermometer to control and moniter temperature. I assume that my blue ice would work on the other end of the dial.


 


 

caseymcm's picture
caseymcm

Put a heat source like an electric heating-pad/blanket/lightbulb(?) inside the cooler and put the whole thing outside.  You can even use your Williams brewing thermostat to control it (if you can get access to it).

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

You know, that's not a half-bad idea.  I could actually put my mini-fridge out on the deck come to think of it.  I wonder if I can hot-wire the interior light to the William's Brewing t-stat?  I'll have to test this and see how warm it gets ...


Brian


 

copyu's picture
copyu

In the 'British-English' world, people refer to those large plywood boxes with the tin-plated steel edge-treatments as "tea-chests". [They also usually have aluminum foil linings on the inside...]


Some of the best beer I've ever tasted was home-brewed (over the winter) in one of these 'warmers' with a 40-100 Watt incandescent light bulb and thermometer mounted on top and a light dimmer in series with the light bulb. It would work great for an out-door dough 'retarder' as well...


Best,


copyu

bwaddle's picture
bwaddle

I put one of those reusable ice packs in the bottom of the cooler. Then I put a wire cooling rack in the cooler with the dough on top of the rack. The temperature is about 60 degrees, and it works fine. If you want it colder, just add more ice.


When it's cold here in Dallas - not that often - I can set the covered dough on the floor of my utility porch to retard it.


Bettie