The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

timing several loaves for seperate baking

fidlfixer's picture

timing several loaves for seperate baking

i have a question...... i am making a bread recipe that will yeild 3 loaves. i want to bake them seperately in a romertopt clay pot. it calls for the last rise/proof about 30-1hr before the bake. could i put the remaining 2 loaves in the frig while the 1st is baking then take out according to proofing time? does that make sense? because if i leave them out the last loaf would have proofed for almost 3 hrs etc etc. 


i hope i am making sense :)



davidg618's picture

Takes a long time; while cooling the 2nd and 3rd loaves will continue proofing. I suspect the third loaf would be overproofed after three hours slowly cooling.

As an alternative I suggest the following. Mix the dough with ice water, to reduce the dough's original temperature, if you autolyse and manipulate the dough with S&F's start chilling the dough immediately and return it to the refrigerator after each manipulation. Shape the loaves, and put them back into the refrigerator. Let them proof until they are at about 80% to 90%.  Then remove them one at a time and bake them immediately. 

I routinely use ice water, and pre-chilled, pre-measured flour to make dough that I then retard. This gives me better control of consistent loaves batch to batch.

I got the ice water idea from Reinhart's BBA. 

David G



GSnyde's picture


I often make a breads that need to be baked in batches due to the capacity of my baking stone.  In fact, I did it today with baguettes--two bakes of three baguettes each.  This dough calls for a four hour bulk ferment with a stretch and fold at two hours.  After I do the stretch and fold, I split the dough ball in two, put half in a lightly oiled bowl covered with plastic, and refrigerate it for about 90 minutes to slow the fermentation.  The second batch starts proofing around the time the first batch comes out of the oven.  That gives enough time for my steam pan to reheat after the first bake.  

David's idea makes sense, too.

Good luck.


FoodFascist's picture

Hi Sarah,  I don't wish to burst your bubble, but I'd be very very careful using this for bread baking. These pots MUST be placed in a cold oven and allowed to heat up as the oven heats, which isn't how you would bake bread. The only solution IMO would be to proof your bread on a sheet of parchment or silicone paper in a separate vessel (or on tabletop, depending on shape of your loaf) and then very carefully transfer it into your clay pot in the oven when you are ready to bake.

Why do you want to use this pot in the first place? Is it as a tin (i.e. to actually give shape to finished loaf), or simply as a replacement for a baking tray?

fidlfixer's picture

I do not proof my loaf in the clay pot I only bake it in it. I like it because it gives my bread a nice crisp crust, shape all that. I do heat up the clay pot before baking and proof with a proofing basket :) thanks though!

FoodFascist's picture

no thank you,

you've given me a good idea! I've never thought of using my clay brick for bread before, but now I see there's a few people here on TFL who do that.

Would be good to know whether it's ok to put a tin with bread in a pre-heated clay pot (I haven't got an oven stone so thought could this work as a replacement)? Or does the pot need good adhesion with whatever's baking in it to prevent it cracking?