The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Should I deflate quickly rising refrigerator dough?

jennyams's picture

Should I deflate quickly rising refrigerator dough?

I am making the Soft Cheese Bread from P.Reiharts Artisan Bread Every Day.  It calls for quite a bit of yeast (1 1/2 T).  I made it two hours ago, and put it in the refrigerator, with the intention of using it on Sunday (Reinhart says I have up to 4 days to use it).  It has already more than doubled in two hours.  While I assume the rise will slow as the dough cools off, it seems like it will be quite large by evening.  Should I punch it down once it reaches a certain level?  I don't want it to overproof.  I can find no guidance on this when looking at slow fermentation recipes. 


Thanks for any help!


BettyR's picture

I do...I don't know if your supposed to or not but when I put dough in the frig I usually keep an eye on it and when it gets to the top of the container it's in I knead it down with my hand and cover it back up. I keep doing this until I'm sure that it has taken it's final rise and is in no danger of bursting out of the container it's in. My main concern is that the dough would become exposed to the air and dry out if it pops it's lid...I don't think you have to worry about over proofing in the frig. I also give the top of my dough a spritz with some spray oil to help keep it from drying out.

flournwater's picture

My practice has been (and Reinhart instructs to do so) to gently deflate and return to fermentation.  I usually deflate by about 30% so that it's just short of the size it was when I began the fermentation (70% of a doubling in the size of the original mass) and it always works out fine.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and reshape quickly so your hands don't warm up the dough.  I do it all the time with yeasted breads.


Broc's picture

All you need to do is gently "stab" it, while it's still in the container. It'll "poof!" down.

At a restaurant supply store, I got 8 gallon plastic proofing containers with tight, snap-on lids for under $4 each... keeps the air from getting at the dough, while it's fermenting in the fridge for days.

Happy baking!

~ Broc