The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My loaf became amazing after a 2 day refrigeration! Why!

Addicted2Baking's picture
Addicted2Baking

My loaf became amazing after a 2 day refrigeration! Why!

I thought I made a goof, but actually made a bread so good, I can't stop eating it. I am new to baking and have only tried simple recipes with lackluster results. I  did some homework before I ever started baking and had quite a bit of book knowledge, but not actual hands on. I got the recipe off of this site, but did not follow it completely. I made some changes by  substituting ingredients. I decided to shape like quizno's torpedos. It made 5 Thin baguettes. Here are the ingredients which come from lesson Two:

2 cups all-purpose enriched unbleached flour
1 cup bread flour (or all-purpose flour, if you do not have bread flour)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Here with the substitutions:

 1 cup whole white wheat flour
 2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tbsps of Turbinado sugar
3 tbsps Powdered Buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water

The first day I let the dough double in size and shaped two thin shaped baguettes . I baked in a preheated oven at 450 for about 15 minutes until golden brown. They tasted fine. Nothing special. it made decent sandwiches. The holes were larger inside and the crust was tender with a hint of chew. Also a little dense. I thought this was another for the dump, but decided to deflate it and put it in the refrigerator since I had no other bread in the house.  Well, today (About 40 hours later) I decided to clean my fridge and since I was using the oven, baked them again same temp, same time. They smelled different while they were baking.  After letting them cool, I cut a piece and it was AMAZING! No off flavors.  Slightly sweet with a more open crumb and not the least bit dense! I polished off a whole baquette and wanted more! No butter needed! Please tell me how and why this happened! Would refrigeration make a difference in all my breads. 

 

 

 

G-man's picture
G-man

It sounds like you're saying you baked the already-baked loaves again. That makes them toast, and toast is always awesome.

In case you mean you had more dough and baked it again, what you're doing creates flavor through a few different methods. The most important is a reaction caused by water absorption. Hydration allows enzymes to start acting. They break down long complex carbohydrates into more simple sugars which are very easy for your saliva to break down, meaning they have a stronger taste. You can get an approximation of this by taking a cracker, putting it on your tongue and just holding it there for a while.

Slightly less central to this, the gluten bonds will continue to form, which in the end will produce a more fluffy loaf since it means the dough will trap and hold more of the CO2 produced by the yeast. The No-Knead method makes use of this. You can go too far in this direction, however. Too much gluten will give you cardboard. Not very tasty.

 

The important thing is the yeast are slowed, which means less ethanol, which means less of that particular taste, and also more time between when the dough is mixed and when it can be considered "overproofed".

G-man's picture
G-man

Yes, this WILL make a difference in all of your yeasted breads.

You can retard the dough for as long as you like I guess, though there's a definite decline in quality past a certain point. Unless you freeze them, the yeast will eventually produce enough ethanol to give you some nasty flavors. I personally retard anywhere from 12 hours to 5 days, but no longer than that.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is the max I have done but heck and tarnation  - I'm real hungry by then and can't make it one minute more - 5 days?  You must be a very thin person G-man :-)

Addicted2Baking's picture
Addicted2Baking

I only baked 2 loaves from the dough  the first time. I put the rest in the fridge for about 40 hours. I formed them today and baked them. I was so surprised at the flavor as well  as the texture. Also, the new loaves weren't as nicely browned as the ones from the ones not retarded. I'm not keen on plain bread, but everyone who tried the bread wanted more. I am addicted to baking cakes and other sweets, but baking bread just hit a new high for me!