The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Over night proof question musings.

Brot Backer's picture
Brot Backer

Over night proof question musings.

I've been trying a few different formulas and techniques with sourdough breads. My sourdough journey started so long ago with the (not so sourdough) no-knead bread. I soon wanted something authentic and more hands on as the no knead method got boring very quickly, but I loved the results it brought. Lately my sourdoughs have become far too slack and 'gooey' I've attributed that to the VERY low PH of my mixed grain starter that I'm expanding with white flour now to get the acidity in check. While I wait on my starter I've been thinking about the different proofing schedules I've tried. After no kneads I tried sour preferments that were two days start to finish, I wasn't impressed by flavor or texture as the starter never seemed to become 'one' with the dough. I next tried the same method with an added day for a retarded proof in the fridge, flavor improved but texture got worse. The problem being that the dough never seemed to really warm back up or even rise much in the fridge because the cold would solidify them. What I've been doing now and has had the best results is a straight dough followed by a retarded bulk fermentation, this seems to give the dough enough 'oomph' to get a good rise in the fridge and it warms up better after being scaled and shaped. The newest problem is fridge space or lack there of. The idea that came to me (I doubt that it's original) is to make a straight dough with a very small amount of starter, shape and proof overnight at room temperature. Basically a traditional dough with a no-knead fermentation schedule. It seems like it might work and I like the idea of the dough never getting too cold but has anyone tried this? One last thing, is this the "Tartine Method"? I've been on the fence about buying the book and I might if this is the technique Robertson puts forth in Tartine Bread.

Jaydot's picture

Basically, Robertson builds his levain on the evening of Day 1, mixes the dough and does bulk ferment with stretch&folds followed by shaping on Day 2,  and gives you the choice between a relatively short warm proof, or overnight proof in the fridge with bake on Day 3. He uses about 20% levain in the final dough, and builds the levain with a very small amount of starter. He emphasizes the importance of autolyse and benchrest.

In the book he also describes the experiences of his "test bakers": one of them does a quite short bulk ferment in the afternoon/evening, and a cool not cold overnight proof. I've found that that works best for me - my fridge is simply too cold for proving, I just put the dough in a cool cupboard overnight.

Get the book! It's lovely, and a pleasure to read.

rlmoon's picture

I am by no means able to converse at your degree at detail and experience. I just made my first soughdough loaf yesterday and it WORKED and tasted great.

I used the method that is described in this online post. It's not a very glitsy post but, for me, it had great advise, and it does have a table showing a proofing-table that you use for a 24 hour proof. This might be what you were talking about.

Brot Backer's picture
Brot Backer

I might buy the book but I'm so tight on cash it's hard to justify.


rlmoon: Thanks for the link, I like some of the ideas and will probably test some out. I'm always wary of anything that gives measurements of dry goods in volume.