The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulk fermentation

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Bulk fermentation

Hi tfl'rs

I have recently started making my bread with the "old dough" method, which is pretty simple and self explanitory.... I simply make up a small peice of dough the day before, let it bulk rise for an hour, then place it in the fridge for 24 hours. Bearing in mind I am just making traditional white bread, like the english bloomer and white tinned bread, and only making one loaf at a time (small peice of dough). Anyhow, once I've mixed the dough I then let it bulk ferment for roughly 1 hour at around 26 degree's C. The bake is pretty poor, poor oven spring etc, although the dough holds well during its proof (def not over-proofing, or under proofing). May my problem be that I need more bulk prove time? say 1 and a half hours, or even 2 hours? Would that be considered to be too long, with the fact I'm using "old dough" at a ratio of 25% pre-fermented flour?

Many thanks Matt

 

 

Mirko's picture
Mirko

How mutch yeast (in %) are you using in preferment.

Mirko

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

I use 2.5% of the flour weight in the preferment then the same again with the final dough, 2.5% of the remaining flour

linder's picture
linder

Matt,

What temperature is the initial one hour rise before being placed in the fridge?  Also, do you let the dough come to room temp before baking, and again at what temperature?  The initial rise might take as long as 4-6 hours.  And as far as coming back up to temperature prior to baking - 3 hours at 85F would not be unreasonable (consider a proofing box or using microwave with boiling water or an ice cooler set up the same way). 

Just some random thoughts based on my experience with the SF sourdough formula.

Linda

Mirko's picture
Mirko

I'm using cold fermented Biga (2 hours room temp.20°C, then 12-18 hours fridge at  7°C) for Baguettes with 1,5% yeast (fresh) in preferment and 0,5% in final dough.

 Here I made buns from Baguette dough (picture bellow), exellent oven rise.

1-1,5% yeast in preferment is enough, 2,5 % yeast, even for fresh yeast, is way too much.

Could you post your formula?

Mirko

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

My formula is....

Old dough; 150g flour, 90g water, 3.8g yeast, 3g salt

I fully mix the dough then bulk ferment for 1 hour, then in the fridge for 24 hours

Final dough; 450g flour, 270g water, 11g yeast, 9g salt, 6g fat, and the old dough.

I fully mix dough, dough temp 26 degrees c, bulk ferment 1 hour, preshape, shape, then prove for 1 hour.

Would 1.5 hours or 2 hours be considered a long time to bulk ferment?

Cheers

lumos's picture
lumos

It seems like a huge amount of yeast for the amount of flour. Also, as it's been said at this forum many times, watch the dough to judge the fermentation, not the clock.  For that kind of wheat flour dough, I'd think good old finger-poking test is quite reliable in judging when the fermentation is done, both the initial bulk fermentation and the final proof. If you want to learn how to do the finger-poking test, there're lots of posts explaining about it  if you search using the search function on the left. :)

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Matt,

well it would be possible to reduce the yeast if you wanted [say 1.8-2%], BUT, there is nothing wrong with your formula.   Personally I'd like to see you get 63% water in given I know which flour you use.   Also, where tin bread would use fat at 1-2%, bloomers would be fat-free, so you are generous with use of fat; this should not impact negatively on dough performance.

Recommending a biga is well-intentioned but completely misses the point about the type of bread you are making.   The old dough should be the same formula as the fresh dough being made....so it has the same proportion of yeast in it.   Pate fermentee is different to biga!

Frankly I suspect you do need more bulk time...and try to get that little extra water in there if you can and think at least about the fat level.   Try a small reduction in yeast if you think that will help, but I'm not necessarily convinced.

For bulk fermentation....and Lumos is spot-on here, it is not about clock-watching at all.   Here is the finest definition of when bulk fermentation is complete, that you are ever likely to read.   Think very carefully about what this poster is saying.   See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/31782/baking-bread-exploration-bread-and-its-many-facets

Take care

Andy

lumos's picture
lumos

One question, to both Matt and Andy.  Is that the weight of fresh yeast in the formula by any chance? I assumed it was dry yeast and that's why I thought it was way too much, especially considering it's going to cold-fermentation for a long time. If it's fresh yeast, I suppose it makes more sense, though personally I'd prefer using much less even so....  Though i must admit any formula with more than half a tsp of dry yeast for 500g flour seems too much for me after being converted to 'tiny-amount-of-yeast-and-loooooong-fermentation' cult some years ago..... :p 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Lumos,

The formula is for fresh yeast as Matt has easy access to it.   Please note he has stated he is trying to replicate English styles of bread such as bloomers and panned loaves.   My understanding is that he is seeking to use more traditional methods, but these do not extend to very long periods of fermentation.   Pate fermentee plus a couple of hours bulk fermentation should be sufficient to produce an excellent and tasty loaf of this type; longer fermentation is frankly unecessary.   This was absolutely typical of the method and formula we used for regular production breads at Village Bakery

Pate fermentee is quite different to a "biga" type pre-ferment.   The dough should be past peak.   It is "old dough".   I don't really get the idea that it may get over-oxidised if it is added at the beginning of the cycle.   This is your dough improver, and an industrial baker would not dream of opening up the mixer and adding the coloured sachet halfway through mixing.

Best wishes

Andy

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the clarification. I actually used to use pate fermented quite often years ago, before I finally jumped into the world of sourdough as it seemed much easier way to improve flavour than having to breed and maintain the wild beast. I just torn away a small amount of dough when I was making bread and kept it in the fridge to use next time I bake bread.... just like beakers in olden days used to do. But looking at Matt's formula, I have a feeling the amount of pate fermented I was using might have been too small to have sufficient impact to the flavour. But I did combined that with long, cold retard, so..........(I can see you rolling your eyes....:p)

 

jcking's picture
jcking

I would add the old dough, in chunks, last. After mixing other ingredients, resting for 5 minutes to allow flour to hydrate, add old dough and complete mixing. You may also reduce final mix time slightly since old dough has already been mixed.

Jim

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Jim,

If you want to hydrate the flour, it would be best to simply combine the flour and water for the final dough, and then use a period of "autolyse".

The old dough should be added right at the start of the mixing process.   This is your dough improver, and you want it thoroughly mixed in right from the start to ensure all the magic changes [rheology] gets underway immediately.   Adding the old dough later in the mixing phase is counter-productive.

Best wishes

Andy

jcking's picture
jcking

I don't disagree with you, I find it works for me. I have a fear the old dough would be over oxidized. P Reinhart has a few formula where pre doughs are added last.

As Professor Calvel used to say, “The truth emerges from the oven.”
Best wishes to you also

Jim