The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Retarding bread

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Lap's picture

Retarding bread

How long can I retard my bread dough in the fridge p? Can I do two overnights? My recipe just says overnight and I need to make's picture

...up to a limit though (i.e., not a week).

This is one of those "Can I microwave my cat to dry her?" kinds of questions.  Sure you can, but you may not be pleased with the outcome.  Retardation allows some microbes to continue to metabolize (those that contribute "sour" to naturally leavened breads) while stopping other bugs (yeast and some bacteria that don't contribute to 'sour' but to other flavors that many people like, or prefer) in their tracks.  So if you let it go for two nights, your product will very likely be more sour than had you baked 24 h earlier.  You haven't provided any information about what kind of leaven you're using (commercial versus 'sourdough').  Souring by retardation (probably -- haven't compared them directly myself) applies more to 'sourdough' baking than that with commercial yeast. 

Hope that helps.


cranbo's picture

You can certainly do 2 overnights, or longer, as Tom suggests. For more than 12 hours in the fridge, you will have to significantly reduce the amount of yeast in your recipe. 

In all cases (whether a single night, 2 nights, or longer), each case will produce a different bread, so be prepared to adjust your expectations for flavor, texture, crust, etc. 


Lap's picture

It is a wheat sourdough based leaven made from a white starter. The retarding will occur after bulk fermentatioon (130 minutes) and final fermentation (60 min).

Thank you