The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Understanding fermenting/retarding/final rise in Hamelman's Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread

  • Pin It
eat.bread's picture
eat.bread

Understanding fermenting/retarding/final rise in Hamelman's Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread

Hello!


I'm working through Hamelman's Cinnamon Raising Oatmeal bread.  In the beginning of the chapter he talks about retarding the loaves overnight.  He says you can mix the dough, let it rise for 30-60 min, fold, and then regridgerate, degassing a few times over the next few hours.  Then in the morning you take out the bread, shape it and let it rise, then bake.


 


I'm getting confused with the morning steps.  Why retard the dough before dividing and shaping it?  Is there a reason to do the bulk ferment in the fridge?  Or can I just do the normal bulk ferment for 2 hours, divide and then put it in the fridge overnight.  And if I do do I bake it straight out of the fridge?  or do I let it warm up a bit???


 


I just seem to be getting lost in those details some.


 


Thanks!


Emily

arlo's picture
arlo


I'm getting confused with the morning steps.  Why retard the dough before dividing and shaping it?  Is there a reason to do the bulk ferment in the fridge?  Or can I just do the normal bulk ferment for 2 hours, divide and then put it in the fridge overnight.  And if I do do I bake it straight out of the fridge?  or do I let it warm up a bit???


 



Retarding during the bulk fermentation phase can help build up flavor, work to fit into your schedule easier and let you control the time you move on to the next step.


If it is easier on you, you can go through the bulk, then shape, then place in the fridge overnight if you would like. It is about what works better for you and your schedule. Some loafers feel there is a difference in flavor for the end products depending on when the cold retardation happens. I myself typically retard during the shaping though for ease of baking when it works for me.


As long as the dough has risen sufficiently after being shaped and held in the fridge, I have never had a problem baking directly from retardation.

csimmo64's picture
csimmo64

If you think about it, if you retarded a 1# loaf of bread as opposed to a 10# batch for a retarded bulk ferment, the 1# loaf will cool much faster. The longer time the bulk ferment is at a warmer temperature, the more fermentation will happen in the same time, thus making the bulk fermented batch more flavorful than the preshaped. Once it hits 41 degrees, I've read that fermentation almost stops.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I suspect one good source of answers to your questions is the procedure for making a big batch of dough and refrigerating it (just reading and understanding it, not necessarily actually doing it:-). Borrow a copy of the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and read and thoroughly study the "basic" procedure.


Bread has a lot more flavor if at least some of the dough has been together for a really long time. The first method that follows this strategy -it only gives you a few extra hours, but is still way better than nothing- is the "sponge" method (remember the Tassajara Bread Book craze?-). The traditional really long method is with full pre-ferments (biga, poolish, etc.). What folks recently discovered is a new method that works equally well and is a whole lot more convenient: "retard" the dough (usually in the refrigerator) at some point in the procedure for many many hours (usually overnight). It turns out this same "retard" can make scheduling a whole lot easier too.


Where in the procedure to place the "retard" is mostly a matter of convenience  (how long the shape[s] take to get cold is another factor). In almost all cases the cold dough out of the refrigerator will need to warm up before you can continue the procedure. The exception is if you chose to "retard" the "proofing" stage. If the loaves you take out of the fridge are all ready, you can put them directly in the oven even though they're cold. The possible disadvantage of retarding the proofing stage though is you may leave the dough in the refrigerator a few extra hours only to find it's significantly overproofed. If you try to bake an overproofed loaf anyway, it will probably come out with strange funky holes in the crumb, it won't have hardly any oven spring, and slashing won't work right. (That's why you'll sometimes see a recommendation to never even try to retard the proofing stage at all.)


If the cold dough has just finished bulk rising, by the time you divide it it may be warm enough to work with. If the cold dough was divided before it went into the fridge, you'll probably need to let it warm up before you can shape it. If the cold dough was already shaped, you'll need to allow it to warm up so the yeast will become active enough to proof it.


If you entirely skip any "retard" a recipe calls for, the bread will bake up fine but with significantly less flavor. (Though if you've got a "numb tongue", you may not notice the flavor difference very much:-)

teegr's picture
teegr

Hi, 50+ year baker here.  A long time ago...(1969) http://www.amazon.com/Homemade-Bread-Editors-farm-journal/dp/B000NWHO5E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1294458992&sr=8-2 there was a farm journal bread  book that had a great cool-rise technique that I have used a lot over the years @ home (esp during holidays), which is perfect for times when you want to just pull the preshaped bread or coffee cakes out of the frig and bake. Really impresses folks that you have wonderful bread AND a clean kitchen...LOL! 


The idea is to mix up the recipe, knead 5-10 mins (depending on whole grains amounts), let rest 20 mins, THEN SHAPE and put into pans or on cookie sheet (in the case of my Heidelberg Rye or French Bread), brush surface with oil, cover with plastic wrap and refrig 2-24 hrs with 2-8 hrs having best volume.  Take out of refrig (or cold pantry) while heating oven 10-15 mins (assuming no stone used) then putting loafs right into oven.  No fuss with steam. I usually slash baquette style, brush with eggwash and sprinkle seeds.  Give a good "Farm Style" crust.  I might add that this method really doesn't work well with a wet dough. It is an easy to knead (room temp) without sticking dough. I recommend this for any grandkids cause they love working with dough but hate sticky doughs.  They love waking up and grabbing the loafs from frig in AM and baking it.  Pretty fool proof because you don't worry about did you let it rise enough.


This is not a "artisan style" crust..but it wasn't designed to be.  Good taste and the rye in particular keeps well. In fact the rye is better day after or at least later in the day.


I prefer a low yeast 18 hr rise for most breads...BUT during holidays and busy times when you don't want to be cleaning up flour and stuff just before everyone attacks the kitchen...this is a great way to do it.


I actually use less than the recommended 2 pkgs of yeast for 2 loaves that this OLD recipe recommends and found a 12 hr rise in frig after shaping works well as long as I remember to use warm water when mixing up the dough.  In either case...I always had a good sandwich bread ready for lunch or brioche rolls early in the AM.