The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Proofing after refrigeration?

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Mira's picture
Mira

Proofing after refrigeration?

Hello,

I usually bake a version of Jeffrey Hamelman’s Vermont Sourdough, adapted from a website.  The instructions call for 1 hour and 45 minute proofing, followed by refrigeration for 2-16 hours. 

Unless I've misunderstood, some posters here have talked about proofing AFTER overnight refrigeration.  Can I do that? Right now I'm in the middle of doing S&F over a 2.5 hour period and I'm feeling tired...if I follow my usual instuctions I won't be going to bed until midnight so I'm wondering what would happen to my bread if after shaping I just placed it in the refrigerator and finished it tomorrow.

Any advice welcome, thank you.

Still a newby (after a year...)

Mira

scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

I almost always put dough in the fridge right after shaping. I let it retard overnight (usually), and then take it out of the fridge about two hours before I plan to bake. Some people probably leave more or less time after removing the dough, but you'll find what works.

Mira's picture
Mira

OK, thanks, I'm going to try that tomorrow!

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Depending on the temperature of your refrigerator and the size of your loaves, you may like the end product even better. Just do it, keep good records, and don't repeat something you don't like.

ehymes's picture
ehymes

Recently had a similar question but about pork butts for a BBQ - to brine or not to brine.

I did two "exactly" the same except for the variable, in your case to time of the refrig and the time of the baking.  Make a double batch of dough, split it after you knead, and then cut it in half.  One half each way but bake at the same time, switching places half way through.

Only then will you know the answer...

Ed

lumos's picture
lumos

I do both ways, depending upon my schedule, how big my dough is and how much room I have in the fridge. I don't see much difference in the end result no matter which way I do, but retarding after shaping may be slightly easier to do as a procedure. But often I do not have enough room in my fridge for multiple shaped doughs when I'm making more than two loaves, so I tend to bulk ferment in a fridge overnight before deviding and shaping.

Mira's picture
Mira

Oh dear.  My dough has not risen very much after 2 hours on the countertop.  It was too sticky to shape last night and it's too sticky now. I've ended up putting it in a bread pan:(

I think I screwed up a number of variables last night...I had a beautiful starter that peaked too early in the day so I refreshed it and I don't think it was at peak when I incorporated it with my flour....that, among other factors, so I think this is going to be the worst bread I've ever made! It's so underproofed I can't even do the poke test....yikes...can I still leave it on the countertop for a few more hours???  Help!

 

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

I've had to leave some retarded loaves at room temp. all day before they really achieved proper proof. It's not uncommon, especially if (a) you have a really cold refrigerator or (b) you didn't proof before retarding. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

If the dough is still cold and under proofed you might turn it out and re-knead it to warm it up, re-shape, and then proof. Alternately, and especially if was well developed and is now up to temperature, you can just leave it alone and wait until it is fully proofed. If the starter was young it may take a few hours.

Mira's picture
Mira

OK I've turned my oven off and have taken the dough out of the bread pan and re-kneaded.  There's no point in baking it when I know it's underproofed.  I've never left it out sitting for this long so this is going to be an experiment for me.

Lesson learned here is not to rush the process to accomodate my day!  Best to do this when I know I have uninterrupted blocks of time!

Thanks so much for your comments, I appreciate the advice I'm getting on this wonderful forum.