The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soaker question....

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BettyR's picture
BettyR

Soaker question....

I have a bread recipe that I really like and use a lot. It calls for stirring all the ingredients, including yeast, together except for the last 2 cups of flour and letting it soak for 4 hours. Then adding the last 2 cups of flour and continuing with the recipe.

I have used this recipe many times and it makes the best bread I personally have ever made. My question is, if I started this recipe the night before and stuck the soaker in the frig over night do you think this would have any significant effect on the finished bread?

1. Would it change the performance of the dough?

2. What would it do to the yeast?

jcking's picture
jcking

Very similar to a blanket style where just a little yeast goes into the wet mixture, the rest of the yeast is mixed with the dry flour. Even then the total yeast is reduced. In that formula the whole thing sits on the counter for an hour before going in the fridge over night. With that procedure there is an increase in bacteria, adding to the flavor. It's very similar to a poolish.

Jim

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Your comment about the extra bacteria adding to the flavor explains something that I have noticed about this recipe. The first time I made it I was concerned because the soaker takes on a kind of sour smell. But the bread came out so good that I figured it was supposed to do that. This bread also stays fresh longer than any homemade bread I've ever made. I assume it must have something to do with the soaker because there is nothing in the recipe that is any different than any other bread I have made in the past.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Try it! I often mix my dough and put it in an oiled,covered container in the refrigerator right from the mixing bowl. Despite the coolness, it often rises double overnight. The next day I just let it sit out for about an hour,shape,proof and bake. This works esp well for whole wheat, which needs more time for the bran to absorb the water so the crumb doesn't crumble.

The one effect that sitting over time has that you may want to watch is hydration. When it sits overnight,even in the refrig, the flour has time to absorb the water more and the dough may feel drier.This will make the baked crumb drier and poss more crumbly. You may want to make sure you send the dough to the refrig slightly more tacky than you customarily do. It will be "normal" by morning.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Thank you,

I have a recipe for cinnamon rolls that you finish the recipe up to placing them in the pan and allowing the rolls to rise about half way then cover and put them in the frig overnight. The next morning you take the rolls out of the frig, preheat the oven then bake them. They turn out wonderful.