The Fresh Loaf

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Cold retardation and then what?

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Issa's picture
Issa

Cold retardation and then what?

Novice question here.  Retarding during bulk fermentation works best with my schedule, so it goes in the fridge about 8pm and comes out of the fridge the next day at 4pm.   My issue is that I am unsure what to do after I pull it out of the fridge.  Some recipes don't even mention anything and just go straight from 'out of the fridge. shape. final proof'.  Some recipes 'out of the fridge. come to room temp. shape. final proof'.  Then others say 'out of the fridge. 1 hour on the counter. shape. final proof'.  So I am missing some information.  If I WERE to pull it out of the fridge, and begin working with it immediately it would be difficult to work with and surface tension may not be possible.  So then I conclude that I must let it come to room temperature, but am I also supposed to let it warm up to the point that it begins to rise further (treat it as a room temp bulk fermentation from this point on) OR should I assume that all rising that has occured in the fridge is all that it needs?  Also, when leaving it out on the counter to come to room temp must I leave it in the bowl?  The stainless steel bowls retain the cold longer so it takes the dough an additional amount of time to come to room temp.  Am I paying too much attention to minutiae?  Thanks in advance for everyone's help.  I did search the forum, but still came up with the same questions. 

-Issa

jak123's picture
jak123

I'll tell you what works for me....

Before you place in fridge for bulk retard, try to get them in the fridge shaped and ready to bake. That way, you can throw the breads in a hot oven directly from fridge. I have had luck with sourdoughs from the fridge for a period of 1-6 days.

My schedule is to mix ingredients, stretch and fold tartine style for about 3 hours. Divide, shape and place in floured bowls and into fridge for a minimum of 12 hours, then straight into my baking vessel.

The key is to find a groove in your schedule.

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

I am by far no expert. My shcedule is the same. Mix ingreidents, stretch and fold only I go for about 5 hours. Divide and shape and into floured bannatons and into the fridge. I pull them out and let sit for about an hour (or less I poke test) during which time I heat my oven and stone. I turn out onto parchment slash and spritz with water. I bake under a stainless steel bowl that I heat for about 10 mins prior to putting my loaf in.

I have also done what you are doing only once because I was to tired to stay up any longer and just threw the bowl in the fridge. I let it warm enough just to take the chill off then shaped and put them in the oven straight away.  Results were pretty much the same in my opinion.

 

~Happy Baking

janij's picture
janij

This is my opinion.  If I retard in the fridge, except pizza dough, I shape right out of the fridge and then realize it will take way longer for the final rise.  It has to come to room temp, wake up, and rise.  So depending on the temp in your house it may be 8 before you can bake.  Why not rise the night before, shape and retard then bake at 4 the next day?  It makes the dough easier to slash and doesn't eat up your whole evening.

But to answer your questions, if you did pull it out of the fridge it would not be too hard to work with.  I think shaping cold dough is easier than room temp.  Not all the rising has taken palce over night and you want it to rise again now because when you shape you will deflate it and it would be pretty dense bread.  You can take it out of the bowl if you want, but like I said, I would shape cold if you did not shape the night before.

Jani

 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== But to answer your questions, if you did pull it out of the fridge it would not be too hard to work with.  I think shaping cold dough is easier than room temp. ===

 

Agreed - I find it easier to shape cold dough, especially rye doughs and those with high hydration ( lot of water).

sPh

 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

...but primarily for reasons other than scheduling. My reasons are first: flavor, and secondly dough structure developement. I'm retired, so scheduling, except for my convenience, is arbitrary. Consequently, I begin making doughs at 3 PM. I adjust DDT for 54°F because that's the temperature I ferment at in a wine cooler. I do this by pre-chilling the measured flour in fhe refrigerator, and using iced water to hydrate. I usually miss DDT by a few degrees, always on the high side. I let the newly mixed dough rest (autolyse) in the refrigerator. Subsequently, for lean doughs (natural levain or commercial yeast) I do three S&F at one hour intervals, always monitoring the dough's temperature following each manipultation. If the temperature is at DDT, I return it to the wine cooler; if it's still warm I return it to the refrigerator. Usually, it reaches DDT after the first or second S&F (1 to 1.5 kg of dough).

At 7 AM I divide and preshape the dough and  rest it either at  room temperature (76°F), or in a proofing box (82°F) for 1 hour, then I shape the loaves, and proof them also at room temperature or in the proofing box--I use it primarily in the winter only. Commercial yeast doughs take ninety minutes to proof, on average; sourdoughs take 3 -and-1/2 or 4-and-1/2 hours.  When baking yeast doughs I'm cleaning up by 11 AM and the loaves are cooling; sourdoughs aren't done until 1 or 2 PM.  Doughs that begin life at room temperature, and are refrigerated--about 38°F to 40°F--from mixing to preshape will likely follow a similar schedule.

I've not tried retarding already shaped loaves, and baking them right out of the refrigerator (or cooler) because this regime gives me the flavor, crumb and convenient schedule I'm after.

David G

P.S. No, you're not wasting time paying attention to the "small stuff". In my opinion, successful and consistent results is all in the details.

Issa's picture
Issa

First of all, thank you everyone for your help thus far.  I appreciate every word.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong then because my dough is a bit stiff out of the fridge.  Stiff enough that folding or shaping is not easy.  Hmm, maybe I'm not covering my bowl correctly or I'm leaving too much space between the dough and the plastic.

I'll try the bulk ferment.shape.retard final proof this weekend and report back.  How do I cover a loaf pan or other types of bread pans?  Won't the dough rise at least to the rim?  I will need to give the dough enough room.

janij's picture
janij

When you retard overnight just cover well with plastic wrap and you should be fine- this is for shaped or bulk.  Cold dough is stiff.  You don't really stretch and fold it.  You just shape it.  It is really easy to shape rectangle pan shape loaves, esp if you are careful how you cut the dough.  And Boule's are really easy too.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

do it either way based on your schedule.  If you have time in the evening to shape and proof and then retard overnight, you can bake immediately after you take it out of the fridge the next day - once your oven is properly pre-heated.  Or, you can bulk ferment, then retard in the fridge, then take it out the next day, let it come to room temperature, shape, proof and then bake.  Either way works fine.

I do both ways all the time - no worries.

Issa's picture
Issa

On Saturday I mixed, bulk feremented (finger poke test), shaped (dough felt fine) and put in loaf pan, and put the pan in the fridge with the idea that the final proof would be done in the fridge and I could just bake it on Sunday.  When I took it out on Sunday the dough looked over-proofed, a little wet with condensation, and was really difficult to score.  Gah. Failure.  I got zero oven spring.  I think it over-proofed.  I did notice that it had a significant rise in the fridge that same night I put it in and just attributed that to the dough's internal temperature. Anyone see anything wrong that I may have done?  I wanted to try again yesterday, but was ill with a cold and had no energy.  I may give it a go today again.

Also, in my previous comment when I stated that the cold dough was a bit stiff to shape and stretch, by 'stretching' I meant 'creating suface tension'.  You actually are stretching the surface to get that tension.  That part has never gone smoothly for me when working with a cold dough.

 

jak123's picture
jak123

hmmm...did you de-gas before you shaped? I never get a substantial rise in the fridge. It really slows things down for me. I can leave rounded boules in the fridge for up to 5 days and when i am ready to bake, pull em out and into the oven and i get a great rise...

Issa's picture
Issa

After the bulk fermentation I put in on the counter and flattened with the palm of my hand following the instruction on shaping a loaf.  I hadn't fully recovered from being sick so I haven't practiced again.  I'll get back on it tonight.

jak123's picture
jak123

i dont know if i am blessed with some special texas yeast, but my breadmaking just works....and i dont follow a "tight" schedule.....i get a nice big rise on bulk, room temp fermentation.  I fold the dough on the counter, let it rest for about 10 minutes, then weigh and portion & pre shape, wait about 10 minutes, then final boule shaping and into the refrig. They do not rise much in the fridge, but i feel like they are alive.

Issa's picture
Issa

Gah! I'm in Texas too.

alpenrose's picture
alpenrose

FIrst things first--what is DDT?  

For: jak123--then what do you do after the fridge?

 

Thank you all!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

DDT is desired dough temperature.

It was only after I purchased my fifth book on baking bread that I learned about it.  Quoting Jeffrey Hamelman from  Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes:

"The first step in proper mixing has nothing to do with actual mixing at all.  it involves the simple determination of the water temperature required for the mix, which is calculated by computing the desired dough temperature.  Consistent baking results require many things, not the least of which is consistent temperature control.  The importance of spending a few moments calculating water temperature in order to achieve mixed dough in a correct temperature zone cannot be overstressed."  [p 5]

Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's a link to Chef Hamelman's explanation on doing the calculation (which actually is quite simple and takes only a minute or two):  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/dough-temperatures.html

jak123's picture
jak123

After the fridge, they are going into a preheated 480 degree oven, that has a preheated enameled cast iron pot in it.  I Dig the formed Boules out of the bowl, gently, add some course rye/wheat bran to the outside of the bread and on the bottom(so it doesnt stick in the pan), i slash it, pop the cover on, lower temp to 400 degrees, bake for 30 minutes covered and then an additional 25 minutes uncovered.

Issa's picture
Issa

I did 2 to test out some of the tips I've gotten here and so if or where I can improve.

The first one was an attempt at retarding the shaped loaf.  Day 1 kneed, bulk fermentation, shape, put it in loaf pan, tightly wrap, then into the fridge.  The next day I pre-heated the oven, then in went the loaf pan.  Again, no ovenspring.  And again, I noticed there was a significant rise in the fridge which if I'm reading everyone's comments on here correctly, it seems I should NOT be getting much of a rise in the fridge.  

The second attempt was to retard at bulk fermentation.  Day 1 kneed, put in a bowl, tightly cover with plastic and into the fridge.  The next day, I noticed a significant rise and it was beginning to look like it had over-proofed.  I went on to shape it while it was still cold with the understanding that the final proof would just simply take longer.  I punched it down more so this time to make sure I did a good job of it.  The shaping was easier this time, but I got that texture where it doesn't have the stretchy look to the dough from having created surface tension.  It had more of a pourous look (not tearing).  I continued, put it in the loaf pan and let it proof.  The texture/look didn't change much.  I did get some oven-spring, a good one, but still not what I normally get when I do ALL steps in the same day.  Those always turn out beautifully.  My fridge is at 41 degrees.  I have no idea why my dough over-proofs in the fridge.  Maybe my room temp is too warm, usually about 76 degrees and it takes too long to come down to 41 in the fridge?  Just a thought.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

= = = And again, I noticed there was a significant rise in the fridge which if I'm reading everyone's comments on here correctly, it seems I should NOT be getting much of a rise in the fridge.  = = =

Respectfully I will disagree with that premise.  It has been my experience that shaped loaves that go into the fridge anywhere near room temperature (greater than 62 deg.F / 20 deg.C) will rise to around 80% of their ultimate volume overnight.  Which is what Rose Levy tells us to expect as well.  The dough is warm enough to keep the yeasts going for quite a while, and the growing yeasts also generate some heat inside the loaf.  Eventually a balanced is reached but per both Rose and also Reinhart's pizza dough recipes the yeast never goes fully dormant at typical household refrigerator temperatures.

sPh

Issa's picture
Issa

So you are saying my rise is fine and don't have any reason to be alarmed by it.  What about the texture?  I eventually start to lose that look and feel of surface tension and starts looking pourous and no significant oven spring.