The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bulk fermentation for white bread

markie_oliver's picture

bulk fermentation for white bread

Hi guys, i've been selling bread for a month now but it happens tobe a white bread varieties, but something on my process is on the grey area for me  and that is the BULK FERMENTATION. Correct me if im wrong but i understand that longer fermentation process also improve the shelf life of bread and the softness?though i knew that with high sugar, i'tll be a junk food for the yeast. so im gonna write down my formula and process and i hope somebody would comment if im doing the right thing or not.









combine all ingredients butter is last

mix and knead by hand

do the window pane test

1st bulk fermentation for 1 hour then fold

2nd bulk fermentation for 1 hour again


proof for an hour

bake with improvise steam

cool for at least 30-45 mins



I hope you could help me to improve my process and the product. im only using a home oven though. thanks again guys happy baking to all of you.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

improve?  You've given the forum good information to start, but I at least am not clear on exactly what you are trying to accomplish.

Bulk fermentation will, primarily, give you enhanced flavor.  The softness you refer to is more a function of the enrichments of your dough.  An enriched dough will also stay fresher (tender and moist) longer than a lean dough.  As presented, yours seems a reasonable method for an enriched (with eggs, milk, butter, sugar) dough, but there is not much time in your process for flavor development.  You don't give the yeast much time to work on the flour to give you some depth.

Tell us a bit more about what your goals are, and what, in particular, you want to change (from what to what?) and you will get even more opinions.

Good Luck and Happy Baking

markie_oliver's picture

thanks old wooden spoon for your feed back, my main goal is the following:

longer shelf life

the best possible flavor

less working time as much as possible but without suffering with the quality

crumbs not dry.

maximize the volume

i heard some method doing sponge and dough but it is not clear for me the realy effect of that method concernig the thing i mention above. i hope this gives you guys more information to help me. thanks again

jpchisari's picture

Hi markie_oliver,

Temperature is a very important part of fermentation. 75deg-80deg is the ideal range. Usually from 1 1/2 -2 hrs depending on the dough. Your sugar content does seem a little high. Almost bordering on sweet or danish dough. For a white loaf sandwich bread I usually keep sugar at about 5%. Are you having any particular problems with your bread? Mix and knead by hand? I mixed by hand for years until I got my first mixer about 16 yrs ago. Could never go back.

markie_oliver's picture

thanks JPCHISARI, i'll give you a brief description of the bread im making, the formula above is for my PAN DE SAL (salted bread from spain)very popular in the philippines, ironically the recipe evolve to a sweet version. it is finished with bread crumbs on the top usually with crunchy crust but very soft and light inside. ( i hope i do have a photograph) i usally bake them in clusters (12 small buns stick together with a total of 490 grams/ cluster after baking).

My bread is so popular, that i have to make 3 batches with 3kg of flour as base per batch, and im doing it by hand. I have my kitchenaid 600 pro but I'm only doing 850 grams flour base per batch for i don't wanna fry my machine. I jsut wanna have some input to improve my process, dump the in correct method, and add some if that would improve the product and my labor of course. The best part about that is im just using a HOME OVEN for the yield I stated, so you kinda figure out why im baking my bread in cluster. thanks for the feed back


jpchisari's picture

Here is a formula for a sponge white bread I have used. Look it over and see if you can adapt the method to your bread


Bread Flour-67%


Fresh Yeast-2.5%

Malt Syrup or Sugar-- .5%


Bread Flour--33%



NonFat Milk solids---3%




Mix all ingredients for sponge and mix into a thick batter and let fermen t@t 75% for approx 4 hrs

Punch down and add remaining ingredients and mix to a smooth, uniform dough.

Ferment for 15 min. @ 80 deg

Make up and bake @ 400 deg


I hope this helps


markie_oliver's picture

I will definitely give this a try, i have a production tonight, and i'll do 3kg of this formula. thanks again john