The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Retarding shaped loaves

anneatkins's picture
anneatkins

Retarding shaped loaves

Just a quick question, how long should retarded loaves sit at room temp before baking? I've never retarded my loaves before...?

Also, just use regular oven temp, preheating etc?

Thank you!

Grenage's picture
Grenage

I don't bring mine to temperature at all, and regular preheating.

anneatkins's picture
anneatkins

Well awesome! Exactly what I'd hoped to hear! :-)

 

b166er's picture
b166er

Are these loaves freshly shaped or do they require the final ferment/proof still? I usually retard after bulk fermentation and shaping. That way, the temping and 1-3 hour prrofing is all in one. I also split batches into free standing loaves and panned loaves and I would think you would want everything at room temp before throwing into the oven. Especially if its in a cold pan. If your baking to a specific internal temp and the final proof is not overdone, it probably wouldn't matter too much.

anneatkins's picture
anneatkins

I would do it this way, yep. I don't use bread pans though, or forms or anything.

placebo's picture
placebo

You should probably try experimenting to see what works best for you.

After shaping, I let boules ferment for about an hour and then they go into the fridge overnight. The next day, I let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before they go into the oven. If I make a batard, I find that it tends to ferment more quickly, so they go into the fridge and into the oven sooner.

anneatkins's picture
anneatkins

I really just think that as sourdough is from wild yeast and has its roots in antiquity, when people were BUSY all day (and I mean really busy, not what we call busy today) I doubt people back in the day, for their staple food, spent HOURS AND HOURS or DAYS even and then refrigerated the stuff, and all that.

I think that sometimes people just make things much more complicated than they need to be - doesn't anyone else share that opinion? 

I learned to make sourdough with basic instructions and I get a good bread from that. Sour, open holey texture, good crust with a minimum of messing around.

I am only asking about retarding as I want to bake it fresh for the *evening* for a do we're attending Saturday but still want time for the rise (what you call ferment I guess)  and then proof and thought I could do most the day before.

Now it's Friday though, I'll probably just do a Challah or something...

I'm going to try the FIRST reply first, the simplest, and if it doesn't work, forego it altogether for now, and just make a different bread :-)

I just wondered whether it should be room temp (I make oval loaves, or boule, batards only rarely) before baking or dumped in cold oven and preheated with the oven :-) (Which would probably also work)

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Like a lot of TFL bakers, I spend quite a bit of time finding out exactly how the doughs I make in my own environment react to different flours (And mixtures of flours) and hydration levels when mixed and bulk fermented at different temperatures prior to final proofing/baking. We do this (And express our opinions as to what we find to be best for us) because things do not work the same everywhere in the world

The plethora of literature from renowned bakers/authors which espouse various different methods is the best example I can think of that there is "More than one way to skin a cat".

I have tried retardation of dough after bulk fermentation (Both immediately and after time at room temperature) and before forming into loaves, as well as retardation after loaf formation (Both immediately after forming and also after an hour or so at room temperature) and have come to an understanding (Sort of) of what works in my village - Of course it varies, Winter/Summer - Temperature of tapwater - %s of dough ingredients - New batch of flour etc etc. 

What I have found over time is that as my manipulative skill levels rise, and my feel for dough increases with lots of practice, I am more able to make such decisions "On the hoof" - so to speak.

As I was reading your most recent posting the thought occurred to me that, as someone who likes simple and uncomplicated, you may just be one of those very lucky people for whom everything they touch turns to gold and I would encourage you to continue in that vein without bothering with all the "Faffing about" that I do - It will free off your time enormously. 

Regarding your comment - "I just wondered whether it should be room temp (I make oval loaves, or boule, batards only rarely) before baking or dumped in cold oven and preheated with the oven :-) (Which would probably also work)"

I (And I suspect other bakers) would love to hear how it works if you dump retarded dough into a cold oven and go from a standing start. You could save a lot of people a lot of time - Please try it, and let us know the result.

Good luck with your baking.

Brian

 

 

 

 

anneatkins's picture
anneatkins

Hello :-) 

I wasn't having a bash at anyone who does those things you wrote out on that post. 

As for not bringing a loaf to room temperature, the first reply to my post amswers that. Clearly it works for that person.

As for starting from a cold oven, LOTS of people do that, you can see it throughout this website.

So, it would be kinda neat if both things worked together, was all I thought (and the only reason I am explaining this to you is that I really do care about whether or not I offend or bother someone and frankly, I am reading you as bothered and a bit snarky, but that could just be my perception.).

Finally, as for the rest: I couldnt't say. All I really can say is that I go by feel and have no idea what my hydration is or anything like that. What I do know is that my bread looks and tastes good. That's enough for me. One time, I made a rye sourdough that I utterly ruined because I think I didnt bake it long enough, so next time, I'll bake it longer. Tasted good, but was too moist and dense, so as for gold, hardly. 

I love reading everyone's posts and I love good bread (finding good sourdough in England is a laugh around where we live) and I love baking. i also love a lot of other stuff and am only home a few evenings a week.

So, good tasting and sencondary to that, good looking bread is what I care about. If it works, I keep doing it. If it doesn't I stop. 

All the best!

Anne 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

good luck shaping and retarding 80% proof loaves (before refrigerating)and baking them straight out of the fridge in hot steamy ovens or DO's and in cold ovens with cold DO's.  Have also retarded them right after fermentaion (up to an hour later) and development with 0% - 30% final proof and then let them proof in the fridge and the counter the next morning before baking in a hot oven or in a hot or cold DO.  OR you can bulk retard and shape and proff the next morning.  It doesn't really make much difference as long as some reasonable amount of final proofing is done before hitting a cold or hot oven in or out of a duch oven.   I like at least 90% proofed one way or another.  Bread is pretty flexible and experience says they all work.

I prefer to bulk proof for about an hour and a half then bulk retard.  Then a 1 hour warm up (summertime) before shapng and final proof on the counter in the morning.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... dabrownman, when you wallop (heck, what am I saying - er, gently deposit) your proofed loaves straight from the refrigerator into a cold oven or cold DO, do you have any issues with the base of the loaves not cooking through enough - soggy bottoms, in more direct terms?

I love cooking high hydration doughs straight from the fridge, because the loaves hold their shape beautifully, are far easier to slash well, and it's a smooth unflustered operation from banneton to peel to oven.  But if I don't get the baking stone absolutely scorching, I have issues, occasionally, with a slightly undercooked central base to the loaves. So I've never had the bottle to bake using a cold oven with cold dough.

So another question for you - do you bother with a baking stone when baking bread that has come straight from the refrigerator, and placing in a cold oven? The stone wouldn't get hot enough in time, would it?

All at Sea

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread not cooking correctly in a cold oven or cold DO or both.  If using a cold dutch oven and cold oven I just add the time it takes for the oven to come up to temperature to the initial bake time under the lid. If I would normally bake covered for 15 minutes in a hot oven before uncovering, and my oven takes 20 minutes to get to 450 F I would bake it covered for 35 minutes covered before uncovering, removing the boule from the DO and placing it on the stone on the rack below which is now at temperature.  You have to remove the rack above where the DO was baking.  I also bake on parchment in a DO or not.

If I am not using a DO and am using a cold oven, I just remove the shaped loaves from the fridge, take off the plastic bag and use the peal they are on to slide them onto a a metal baking sheet instead of a stone and crank up the oven.  If using a basket in a bag in the fridge, you just upend the basket on a peal with parchment.   I do heat up 2 of Sylvias steaming Pyrex pans and towels in the MW so there is steam being applied from the get go too.  Since the metal cookie sheets heat so fast the bottoms of the loaves seem to bake ok.  If the bottoms look like they won't color right I just uoend them on the cookie sheet 3/4ths of the way theough baking to brown the bottoms.  I remove the steam 10 minutes after the oven has come to baking temperature and then turn on the convection.

I always get the best spring and color in DO's though no matter if the DO is hot or cold or the oven hot or cold.  Guess this explains why Chad Robertson likes his DO baking so much. 

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... for detailing your M.O., dabrowman. Much appreciated.

I get the picture - and yes, of course, simply upend the loaves to ensure the bottoms get baked sufficiently, part way through the bake. What a slow-brain not to have tried that before!

I so envy you your oven, however. Mine takes - wait for this - 90 minutes at least, to get up to 450 df. Beyond that it won't get one degree hotter, no matter how long I leave it on. So if I were to add the 90 minutes for it to reach 450 df, to the 45 minutes or so it takes to bake my regular loaves, they would be in the oven for 135 minutes total -  2 hours 15 minutes!

That said, since I routinely try to wait at least 75 minutes before loading my oven (I try to bake cookies or dry out silica gel in the warm-up time so all that gas isn't being wasted), the total oven-on time  won't be that much longer if I start from cold. Oh well, faint heart never won fair loaf - so I'll try your method next bake.

My, such larks this bread milarky!

Thanks again.

All at Sea

 

 

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to get a Mini Oven!  I use a Cuisinart Convection Oven in the summer time almost exclusively.  It is 115 V and gets to 500 F in less than 10 minutes without breaking a sweat!.  Bakes great bread and just about anything else too!  You can start bread cold or hot in it and it bakes anything 12" long or less.  If we want a cloche,  just put a SS mixing bowl over the boule. If I want steam I use (2) 1 C Pyrex cups with a wash cloth in each.  They are 1/2 full of water and heated in the microwave.  It loves la loaf in a pan.  Works great for all.  For 2-4  people you don't even need an regular oven in my book.  Just cook a turkey breast at Thanksgiving :-)

Any oven, even one one a boat,  that takes 90 minutes to warm up to 450 F and that is it,  deserves to be replaced with a $99 Mini Oven :-)  That thing would work great for low and slow BBQ though!

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Anne,

I like your style and I am neither offended or bothered by your comments - Which you expressed very well - We are both trying to achieve great breads, and I could not agree more with your comment about finding good sourdough in Britain.

My learning style is to try a recipe/method from a know reliable source (Hamelman is my usual favourite) and once I have mastered it I then play with it if necessary to suit my own local conditions and ingredients.

I often wonder about the time I spend (I could be out playing golf instead) which may not be necessary, doing all the things I do when, obviously, their are intuitive and feeling persons out there who are able to work by touch and feel to produce great bread by almost any method they choose - I liked Dabrownman's comment that pretty much anything works.

In a nutshell, my comments were an expression of annoyance at my own perpetual time wasting efforts - I wish I could be more like you.  Keep doing what you are doing while it works for you.

On the same subject - I know there are a few pro bakers out there on this site who would always welcome opportunities to reduce their power consumption on a regular basis - It would be great to hear if any of them start their bake in a cold oven or whether this method is suitable for home use only.

Brian