The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

refrigerating the final dough

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Tedsbreads's picture
Tedsbreads

refrigerating the final dough

Back in the early spring when I was making sourdough bread I would mix the final dough and let it rise over night. Because of the weather it was ready 6 hours later or so to be shaped. Now the weather is hot and humid and the dough rises to fast for my liking. I am wondering if I can mix the final dough then put it in a refrigerator to rise overnight.

Thanks for your help

Ted

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

Hi,
I mix my sourdough in the evening, autolyse, gently stretch and knead for about ten minutes, bulkferment for about two hours (sometimes less) with an occasional stretch&fold. For the bulk fermentation I keep the dough in a warm environment (switch on the oven for a few minutes then turn it off again). Then I shape and pop the shaped loaves into the fridge. 
In the morning I take them out and since rising does continue even in the fridge, I can usually put them straight into the oven.
Works like a charm every time, fantastic oven spring! 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Yes, of course you can, and at either the bulk ferment stage or the "after you've formed the loaves"-stage as well.  All that refridgeration does is slow down the process and change the flavor a touch.  The flavor change is often prized.  Try it; you'll use refridgeration as one of your favorite tools in the process of making your baking work into your schedule instead of feeling that you are at its mercy. 

Rick D's picture
Rick D

Absolutely! Doing so allows me to work a loaf into my busy schedule. As others have noted, a 55-57 degree wine cellar works very well too.

Tedsbreads's picture
Tedsbreads

Thanks for the help everyone. I ended up refrigerating it overnight , letting it come to room temp then shaping. Can i skip taking it off the chill and shape it right away?

 

ted

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Ted,

To my understanding you can shape either way.  Just a preference.  

I find shaping cold dough harder than when it has warmed a bit BUT, and there are ALWAYS exceptions, there are some doughs with high hydration that shape better when cold....You simply have to find what works for you.

Good Luck,

Janet

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I've never, myself, tried to shape cold dough.  My impulse tells me that it would be more difficult to shape cold dough.  You are in the position to experiment.  Give it a shot, if you like, and tell us how it works.  Experiment, experiment, experiment, then report to the rest of us.  Please.

Tedsbreads's picture
Tedsbreads

Well everyone, I've been trying this refridgeratin technique and it seems like it will work out fine once I work out the kinks. I make the final dough in the afternoon. Then it goes in the fridge until 6 in the morning when it is taken out. Then it sits for an hour or 2 in then is shaped. It is slightly difficult to shape it tightly and have it stick to itself. I think I will try putting the dough in the warm proofer until it is comletely warm. Is it a bad idea to put cold dough straight into a 80 degree proofer? Also after the shape it takes a long time to rise. Like 2 hours. It seems strange to me that it would take so long.

I'll keep working at it. I appreciate your support

Ted

lumos's picture
lumos

Maybe it depends on the condition of the dough, but I find it much easier to shape high-hydration dough when it's still cold because it's  firmer and less sticky.  Also if you're in a country when the summer is seriously hot and humid, it's better to start shaping straight from the fridge.