The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Refrigerator versus room temperature ferment

neoncoyote's picture

Refrigerator versus room temperature ferment

Good morning -

After noticing that different sourdough recipes call for different fermentation routines -- some with a combination of room temp and cold fermentation and others room temp only -- I've been experimenting with the resulting taste of different methods. 

1. Understanding that cold retards fermentation, would I be correct in stating that a long room-temperature ferment would produce a more sour loaf than a combination room-temp/cold ferment?

2. Have you sourdough experts noted any specific effects on your baked loves based on the temperature of your ferment?

3. Does using stretch-and-fold significantly affect the taste of your loaves, or does that technique mostly affect the characteristics of the loaf *other* than taste?

Thank you!

flournwater's picture

I have never found that long fermentation at room temperature increases the "sour" characteristics of my sourdough.  Long fermentation does improve the overall flavor so I prefer a cooler fermentation temperature over a longer period of time.

I have come to prefer the stretch and fold method of handling my sourdough over an other but I don't find it has any noticable influence on flavor.  I use it because I find it more evenly distributes the CO2 throughout the dough and gives me a more even crumb and more desirable texture.

Hans Krijnen's picture
Hans Krijnen



Two day's ago I made the Vermont S/D from Hamelman, and let it ferment in bulk overnight in the fridge (16 Hours).

I took it out the fridge divided the cold dough and let it rise for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours. I never have done it this way but just I was short on time and I like to experiment. The dough was easy to work with, the rise and oven spring where great and the bread had a great crumb, taste and color. As what I wrote before i made this bread many times ( my daily sandwich bread) the sourness was surprisingly pungent. 



If I can figure out how to upload pics then do this later today