The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

when to take "old dough" out of mixed ingredients

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payfine's picture
payfine

when to take "old dough" out of mixed ingredients

please can someone tell me when to take out a piece of dough to keep as "old dough"? i'm using Joe Ortiz' book "the village baker". in simple bread the ingredients are mixed, kneaded and left to rise for 2hrs, then kneaded a bit and left to rise for 45 min, then kneaded a bit, relaxed and left to rise for a 3rd time for 45 minutes and then baked. i'd like to keep some dough as an old dough starter but nowhere in the book does he say when to take a cup of dough out to keep. is it after the first 2hrs, the next 45 min or the final 45min? i'd appreciate any advice.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

From what I've read, the 'old dough' is usually a piece of fully risen dough, either from the first or second rise.

swtgran's picture
swtgran

I take mine from the dough before my last rise.

payfine's picture
payfine

thanks for your advice paddy and swtgran. after the second rise it is!

BettyR's picture
BettyR

the old dough do for the bread and how long can you keep it? I'm assuming that you keep it in the frig.

Syd's picture
Syd

It adds a wonderful complexity to the flavor of the bread.


Assuming that you keep it in the fridge and all that it contains is flour, water, salt and yeast, you can keep it for up to two weeks.  Much longer and the gluten will start to break down and it will get all gluey.   You could still use it then (as long as it hadn't gone mouldy)  but you might have to substitute higher gluten flour to make up for the lack of gluten in the old dough.  If it were sourdough old dough, it would get more sour as time went on.  Even dough made with commercial yeast will take on sourdouh-ish tones if left for a long time in the refrigeratior.  Not sure what the effect other ingredients would have on it.  I think particulary of milk and fat.  I would worry that they might contribute off or rancid flavors but I don't have any experience with that.  I do know that salt will prevent the gluten from breaking down.  I just baked this evening with old dough from the fridge that was 8 days old and the dough was still smooth and strong.  It had a wonderful flavor.


 


You can of course freeze old dough very successfully, too.  Just let it defrost at room temp and use it as per your recipe.  It can keep for months this way.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I'll give it a try.