The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Traveling with Fermenting Dough

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Traveling with Fermenting Dough

Maybe this is a weird question...so I'll ask it.


I will be taking a car trip Friday, and want to be able to bake Saturday at my destination.  A Sourdough with a cold primary fermentation.  Any reason I couldn't put the dough in its bowl in a cooler with Blue Ice, and take it with me?  Does yeast get carsick?  Will a rough road burst the carbon dioxide bubbles?


Thanks for your advice.


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Starters have crossed the seas and the plains and the mountains. I doubt you will be on any roads bumpier than the Santa Fe Trail. Starters don't get lost. They don't get car sickness or jet lag. Unlike bakers, for example. 


As long as you don't intentionally abuse the dough (thermal shock, starvation, dehydration), it should do fine.


Here's my advice, based on vast theoretical knowledge and (at best) half-vast personal experience:


1. I assume you can keep your cooler between 40 and 50ºF and your trip is less than 4 hours duration, door to door.


2. Mix the dough as you would anyway.


3. Place it in a well-sealed bowl. Place bowl in cooler.


4. En route, monitor the fermentation about hourly. Do a stretch and fold in the bowl if it looks like the dough is going to double before you will be able to divide it. This will re-distribute the oxygen and food and dough temperature and de-gas it somewhat. (I assume you will be monitoring your automobile's de-gassing as well.)


Happy trails!


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

If I travel with starter, I know to pack it in a burlap sack in my chuckwagon. But with fermenting dough, I worried about the jostling.  


I'm planning to try the SJSD Version 7.18.10 with a liquid levain.  I might just make the levain Thursday night, put it in the cooler for the trip Friday morning, then warm the levain at room temperature and mix the dough Friday afternoon, and bake properly formed batards Saturday afternoon. That'll leave me Saturday morning to try cinnamon rolls!


Also, that way I don't have to worry about de-gassing in the enclosed car.


If I had gone for the car oven option everything would be simpler.  Maybe I could rig the trunk up as a proofing box.


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


If I had gone for the car oven option everything would be simpler.



I'm glad you didn't go for it. There are better options. I recommend these:



Place this on your back seat. Attach to your 12-volt power outlet with one of these:



Optionally, you could rig a hose from your windshield washer nozzle to the oven and have an in-car steam injected deck oven.


Boy! Will your car smell good! (Usually, this outfit is recommended only when you are ready to sell a car. If the car smells like chocolate chip cookies when the prospective buyer test drives it, they say you can get more for the vehicle.)


David

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and threw myself in for a sauna!  That was really a nice way to use a warm, sunshiny car.  (Not one jogger running by thought to rescue me from potential danger.)   Might have been too warm for the yeasts. 


Mini

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Glenn,


Not transported dough yet but have transported other foods for family 'meets'.


Here are my few thoughts. Am a novice baker as stated but my impression is that as dough is degassed by firm pressure from the top down it should be fine in a cooler, even on a bumpy journey. Even if it does degas it will have time to make up ground in the final fermentation.


i think if transporting dough during first proof/bulk fermentation or a taking a levain, overproofing the dough or ending up with an over-acidic levain due to heat in the enclosed car would be greater problems, particularly as you have quick acting yeasts. 


Don't know the length of the journey or level of heat. However if either was likely to cause problems you could do any of the things recommended generally to slow down fermentation including mixing dough or levain with chilled water, decreasing amount of yeast/starter or putting a tiny amount of salt in the levain. Obviously these last two change the formula and method somewhat. There has been some debate on the use of salt with some leading bakers contending that it prevents proteolysis, others that it effects the taste of the final bread. See this thread.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12657/questions-about-controlling-activity-preferments-through-inclusion-salt


I have seen pictures of US coolers and they seem to be pretty serious chilling machines so this may not apply. I remember reading up about UK Blue Ice packs when transporting food for a family holiday, however, and finding they were only at their optimum for the first two hours. Also if the container is at room temperature the first half hour or so of that is likely to go to chilling down the container. So I think if I were expecting a hot journey I might opt for both iced water in the dough or levain and chilling the container. Perhaps you were planning to do this already? Advantage of iced water, as said, is although it slows down fermentation it doesn't change the formula balance.


Hopefully if tried this would not chill things too much! I have found that if I chill my dough or levain I can always raise the temperature later but if my quick yeasts and associated enzymes have worked on the dough or levain so quickly that it is over-acidic or proteolytic the bake can be compromised or a write off. 


Wishing you a good journey and good baking, Daisy_A

BerniePiel's picture
BerniePiel

want to try using dry ice which is readily available here at most supermarkets.   But, be very careful in handling it because it can cause burns.  You will want to use gloves or tongs, but certainly not your bare hands.   Because it is so cold you may want to add it to the bottom of the cooler and then add a layer of paper to insulate the dough to keep it from freezing solid.  Good luck.


Bernie Piel

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Hi David!


An in-car oven is not necessary. You already have one - especially where it is hot as on the Santa Fe Trail. All you need is aluminum foil or a cloche to put in the engine compartment. Let the engine do your baking! And...while you are at it you can roast a pork shoulder so you can have Porcetta sandwiches on the way! Of course it helps to have an older car that has some extra space under the hood!


Other possibilities include


Roast Chicken


Beef Stew


and anything involving road kill!


Experience suggests that stiffer doughs are preferable - especially on curvy, mountain roads.


Baking today in my Chevrolet!


Jay

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I need to be proofing pumpernickel.

yozzause's picture
yozzause

As apprentices we stuck a heap of scrap dough around the manifild of a morris minor belonging to one of the bakers. on his way home he detected the odour of fresh bread but be for he had gone to far the smell of burning bread and had to pull over when the cab filled with smoke.


He was on the side of the road and with the bonnet up and the slow bumper to bumper traffic going to work in the city all rubber necking to see 2 old guys in their bakers whites in an old bread van with the first hot bread shop in Australia.


Glenn if the journey is a long one less starter will slow the fermentation process as well as reduced temperature.


Regards Yozza

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

He He  Sorry, I keep seeing the police checking cars going over the Hoover Dam, coming upon the oven hooked up to the cigarrete lighter and a hose to the windshield washer.  Hmmm, wonder how long you would be in jail?? Well, at least until you can pass out fresh bread.  I'm still smiling.  Pam

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

This is a pretty helpful crew.  Thanks for all the information, and especially the novel ideas.  I plan to try all of them...but not all at once.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Always glad to share perverted knowledge!


I am actualy a bit surprised that more drivers don't take advantage of their engine heat. You really can cook many things and reheat even more. But it should be well wrapped in heavy aluminum foil to keep out fumes and placed carefully to avoid "issues".


Puts a whole new spin on "fast food"! 

belfiore's picture
belfiore

You can always count on us to be full of...ideas, yeah-that's it!!!


Toni

belfiore's picture
belfiore

rolling on floor laughing gasping for air over here...


They do have those plug-in car refrigerators you could use for cold retardation and chilling your wine at the same time!


Toni

longhorn's picture
longhorn

That is a great observation that throws whole new wrinkles into the strategy.


The refrigerator would clearly aid in transporting the starter...


But the temperature would be wrong for the wine


And the cops wouldn't like to find wine anyway


And you have the problem of anticipating what road kill you will be cooking.


But...one could place a plastic bag over the A/C duct and create a cooling chamber which would be good for red wine. And you could still cook under the hood. A very versatile relationship!


I need to talk to my buddies in the auto industry about a serious cooling and heating boxes....It could be done and car companies have certainly done things stupider!


Opossum pie on Audi Rye! 


It certainly has a ring to it!


Skaol!


Thanks for te thought!


 

belfiore's picture
belfiore

Have you ever been in a wine aging cavern? brrr.. the wine would be really cold, make sure it's corked & sealed to keep the lawmen happy...then when you arrive at your destination, uncork, set it out on the counter to breathe...by the time the bread is ready the wine is at the right temperature!


I was a girl scout...hehehe


Slainte!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

And I have little when it comes to wine.


Thanks for the grins!


Jsy


 


 

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

David should buy the wine because he started all of this.  Pam

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Engine block braised roadkill?


Something from Goats do Roam Vineyards, I suppose.


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

If you sear a roadkill rooster right where the Vehicle Identification Number is etched under the hood, you would, of course, have Coq au VIN.

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

In Colorado this time of year our road kill is much bigger, deer or elk.  Does this require a caravan so that we do not squander our natural roadkill??  Remember a BIG knife. A heavy red wine is de riquer (mortis) with venison.   Pam

belfiore's picture
belfiore

ooohhh, (me clapping my hands & jumping up & down) we could add music, something like "Convoy" comes to mind or with this group of wine lovers it could be Ravel's Bolero...or...


Toni

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

 I'm begining to think that none of us should leave the house!!   Pam

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I got up very early this morning (around 6) and mixed the final levain (60% hydration) for the SJ Sourdough. Around 6:30 I put it in a sealed glass one quart bowl on our kitchen counter.  At exactly 8:30 I put the bowl in a plain brown paper bag and immediately put the bag in the back seat of a 2007 Prius, silver color.  Between 9:12 and 1:05, it was in the car while we drove in mild weather (average around 74 F), with one 35 minute stop (with car parked in sun) for tacos and Pepsi.  When we arrived I pulled the bowl out of the bag, and put the bowl on the kitchen counter (around 68 F).  It rested until 5 p.m.


It doubled in size, and was a perfect airy doughy texture.  The levain is now happily mixed and folded into the dough, eating sugar, expelling CO2 and growing.  Assuming the SJ SD comes out well, you all might want to try this method... or not.


Glenn

belfiore's picture
belfiore

...something similar based on your success. Next month we're heading to Las Vegas to help our two oldest offspring with their offsprings while they go run a 24 hour ultra marathon relay race. We'll be staying in a condo with a kitchen!


Did you take a baking stone with you on this adventure or are you roughing it? Pictures will follow your bake, yes?


BTW, I'm already industriously working by 6am...now 4am when I get up?...that's early-heehee


:-)


Toni

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Toni,


In Las Vegas you don't even need an oven to bake.


I do have a pizza stone.  I'm not much for roughing it.  The kitchen here is pretty fully equipped.  In fact, I expect to find that the stone here is better than the one we have in SF (and I expect to blame that bad stone for the blond bottoms of the bread I've baked there).  We'll see.


Yes, I will take pictures of both my bakes tomorrow--Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread from BBA and my second attempt at SJ SD.


As for 4 a.m., I only see that hour on the rare occasions when I have a conference call that starts early EST.


The SJ SD dough is almost ready to start its long rest in the fridge.  


Glenn