The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

FYI: Mr. Lepard's advice on retarding high % rye dough

Yippee's picture

FYI: Mr. Lepard's advice on retarding high % rye dough


Re: THML: sour 100% rye bread

Postby Dan Lepard on Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:12 am

Yippee wrote:I was working on your 100% rye but stumbled upon a strange problem. Three hours into fermentation at 76F, I had to put my shaped dough away in the fridge. When I took it out the next day, no matter how much time I allowed it (13 hours@76F, to be exact) to warm up, it just wouldn't rise again!

Could you please share your experience of retarding high % rye? Is this practice not recommended? If so, why?

Hi Yippee,
I think I know what has happened: the dough has become exhausted as the yeast and bacteria have used the available starches and natural sugars in the dough. The dough "ran out of gas."

The rising of any dough isn't an endless process, and will relate to the amount of fermentable material present as well as the time, temperature and hydration of the dough. In a fermentation endurance rally, white wheat flour would win, wholemeal would come second, and rye and barley would tie for last place.

Though an overnight stay in the fridge will slow the process, it wont stop it, and bacteria will keep using up starches and sugars in order to reproduce without producing much gas. You don't say whether you bakes the loaf, but if you did and then sliced it when cold, you would have noticed a pronounced acidity in the flavour. That flavour is mostly the result of the large number of bacteria present.

So...the answer is: yes, you can retard high % rye sour or yeast dough but remember that the process continues at a low temperature, rather than stopping until you're ready. This also apples to dough made from white wheat flour, but because there is more fermentable material in white wheat flour, the dough is more durable.