The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

48-hour Baguettes, and beyond

Rodger's picture

48-hour Baguettes, and beyond

Last weekend I had lunchtime occasions lined up on both days.  On Friday morning, I began a large batch of Bouabsa-style dough at about 72% hydration.  I baked half of it on Saturday morning and put the remainder back into refrigeration.  Lunch rolled around, and I collected the usual lot of compliments and superlatives (only I could see the imperfect slashes, the slightly under-caramelized crust at the flanks, and so on). 

Sunday morning I baked the second half of the dough, after fermenting 48 hours in the refrigerator instead of the prescribed 24 hours.  I was afraid the long fermentation would produce a flavor that I don't know how to describe, but that is outside the spectrum for baguettes, more like a strong sourdough.

In the event, they came out just fine, even better perhaps than the 24-hour product.  This time, at lunch, even I thought they were pretty good. 

How long can this process be pushed?  Can we make dough on Sunday, and then proof a single baguette from it every morning until Thursday or Saturday?  I've done that with pita before, that is, I kept a batch of dough in the frigde, and scaled off what I needed meal by meal.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Rodger.

I've never done this, but it would be nice to know how long the Bouabsa dough would keep making good baguettes. I might give this a try myself.


dwcoleman's picture

It is possible to retard dough for 3-4 days max I believe, at a certain point though the dough will start to break down.

Peter Reinhart has a recipe for this in his most recent book.  Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day is also very similar.  Please read a cut/paste below.


From Publishers Weekly

While the phrase artisan bread typically evokes images of labor-intensive sessions and top-notch ingredients, for authors Hertzberg and François it means five minutes. An intriguing concept—high-quality, fresh bread in less time than it takes to boil water. The authors' promises of no kneading, no starter, no proofing yeast and no need for a bread machine is based on the concept of mixed and risen high-moisture dough stored in the fridge for up to two weeks (dough is cut into pieces and popped in the oven for fresh loaves as desired). Note: for those tracking minutes, the five-minutes doesn't include the 20-minute resting time for dough or 30 minutes for baking. After concise, introductory chapters on ingredients, equipment, and tips and techniques, readers are presented with the master recipe, a free-form loaf of French boule that is the model for all breads in the book. Three main chapters—Peasant Loaves, Flatbreads and Pizzas and Enriched Breads and Pastries—are filled with tempting selections and focus on ethnic breads and pastries including Couronne from France; Limpa from Scandinavia; Ksara from Morocco; Broa from Portugal; and Chocolate-Raisin Babka from the Ukraine, but the basics (Oatmeal Bread, Bagels, White Bread) are all here, too. A smattering of companion recipes such as Tuscan White Bean Dip and Portuguese Fish Stew are peppered throughout. While experienced bakers and true gourmands will skip this one, those looking for an innovative approach to making bread just might find it in these recipes. (Nov.) 

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SylviaH's picture

it acting much like my pizza dough..becoming more extensible and with different baguette formulas acting a little differently depending on the pre-ferment.