The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from San Francisco, and plunging right into asking for advice :)

rageflower's picture
rageflower

Hello from San Francisco, and plunging right into asking for advice :)

Greetings and salutations, fellow bakers!  I am in the just-south-of-San-Francisco-proper area, and have been baking for several years.  Most recently I have discovered the fun of the cookbook Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and its companion, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  They are great for lazy experimentation and day-to-day bread needs for our household (which is just myself, my new hubby the professional chef who is terrified of baking, and our cat Feral Fawcett).

That being said, I love baking and have been trying to expand outside my comfort zone to become a better baker.  I am SO excited to have found this website, and have been reduced to almost galloping around the room doing Tony-the-Tiger fist pumps and 'woot!' ing at all of the luscious recipes everyone has posted.  Can't wait to delve in and bake up a storm!

All of that being said, I'm already asking for help.  I found a recipe for a cheddar, beer, and mustard pull-apart bread that I would love to make for said husband, but the prospect of waking up early enough to do a double rise on the dough and put it together and bake it without him noticing in our teeny-tiny apartment is both hideous and well nigh impossible.  The recipe indicates you can make the dough the night before and then let it rest at room temperature for an hour the next morning before commencing with the putting-together-thereof and subsequent second rest, but that doesn't seem to save much time to me.

My question is, is there any reason I couldn't make the dough the night before, do the first rise, assemble it, and then refrigerate it overnight?  I know it will retard the rise, so I would still get it out and let it do a bit of a returning-to-room temperature before popping it in the oven the next morning.  Or would I at that point just take it straight from fridge to oven?

If anybody has an ideas or advice, I would love to hear it.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

It may take you a couple of runs to get the timing just right, but you can assemble, partial proof, then retard, and perhaps even bake directly from the retarder.  The fat that will act as the parting agent between the pieces that pull apart may need to be a little heavier than you might otherwise make it just to preserve the functionality over a long proof cycle but it should still work.

Give it a try and report back.

rageflower's picture
rageflower

Thank you so much for your advice, I am hoping to try it this weekend so I will definitely let you know how it goes!

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Make sure you use regular beer, or a beer that does not use any roasted beans or grains. The high heat bread cooks at can leave a horrible bitter taste. Think of coffee left too long on the element.

Apart from that good luck and welcome aboard

Cheers

rageflower's picture
rageflower

Thank you for posting that as well; I'm  not a regular beer drinker and he loves all sorts of microbrews and such, and I had no idea that might happen.  Duly noted for future reference!  Would a pale ale like Rolling Rock be okay?  (I pretty much cook either with that or Guinness)

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

If you've cooked with it before, then it can take the 200 or so degrees bread needs to get to.

Cheers

BurntMyFingers's picture
BurntMyFingers

Sounds like you are close to my daughter, who lives in Glen Park? Anyway, welcome.  I have both the books you mentioned and predict you'll put them aside after you've been here awhile because making your own prefermented loaves is so much more satisfying. You might want to try some of the simpler (in terms of ingredients) recipes first to get the techniques down, then start adding things. Otis

rageflower's picture
rageflower

I know right where Glen Park is, great area!  I am not from here originally, but when we moved here one of the things that excited me most was getting to create my own starter!  I haven't done so yet but it is definitely In The Plans.  Now that I've found this great website I feel more confident about making and trying to bake bread from it. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you can retard overnight after shaping or you can retard overnight in bulk about an hour after you start the bulk ferment too adn then shape about an hour or so after it comes out of fridge and let it proof on the counter the next morning - What ever suits your schedule.

Welcome and  happy baking.

rageflower's picture
rageflower

The bread turned out UH-MAY-ZING!!!!!!  Thanks for all the help/tips on letting it retard overnight in the fridge; it turned out beautifully and I cannot recommend it enough!  I ended up using Flat Tire, and though it was a good flavor next time I think I will try something darker.  I would have gotten pictures but my husband inhaled about a third of it in under ten minutes.  He took the rest to work this morning and reheated it wrapped in aluminum foil in a hot oven for the kitchen staff, and they agreed it was delicious.  Here is the link, if anybody is interested:  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/02/cheddar-beer-and-mustard-pull-apart-bread/

Looking forward to many more experimentations in the wonderful world of bread!