The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Leaving dough overnight

Homebread's picture

Leaving dough overnight

I am very new to breadmaking, the bread I learnt to make on a course takes around 5 hrs with resting and folding at 45min intevals.

Some of the dough we made during the course was left overnight; I would like to do this to save some time in the whole process.

I am just a little confused, do I do all of my folding at the beginning and then leave to rest overnight, or do I leave the just combined dough overnight and then fold in the morning?

Does the dough need to be refrigerated? 

Thanks to anyone who can advise :)


Yeti's picture

You can develop the dough completely and get it to a stage where it's effectively ready to bake, but pop it in the fridge overnight to slow down the yeast.  Some say it'll give it a better taste, but I really haven't noticed much difference.  The next day just take it out and give it a while to warm up, then shape, proof and bake

Eclarner's picture

Would it work just as OK if shaping the loaves, then refrigerating, then baking?

Grenage's picture

If you're developing the gluten on one go (at the start, most likely), then it's probably easiest to just knead to completion.  Dough should be refridgerated, unless it's sourdough, and cold enough to slow the rise to that degree.

Davo's picture

If it's a warm night, I will put in the fridge. Even if it will be a cold night I will put in fridge if I am baking the next night. BUT if it will be a cold night (for us, like single figs celcius in Melbourne Australia), my laundry will be around 10 celcius, and that's cool enough to slow down a final proof so that a bake in the morning will work. That overnight proof is after all the kneading and then folding during the bulk fermentation, and loaf shaping, so there is no folding druring that period anyway. I only do this during weekends, as a morning bake won't work for me mid-week as I need one hour oven warm-up and about another 1.5 to 2 hours for two bakes, as I do two lots of two loaves for four total, in a wide oven.

If it will be a warm night, or you can't access a semi-cold enviornment like my laundry (!), you could always use a cool box in your living spaces, whether purpose built, or even say in a closed cardboard box with a couple of frozen bottles of water. I reckon if ambient temp was say 18 celcius, it would be about 10 celcius in something like that.

Or use less levain in your final dough, so that 7-8 hrs at 20 celcius was not too warm...

Many options to make it work.

dabrownman's picture

I  do about 10 minutes of slap and folds, rest 15 minutes and then do 3 sets of stretch and folds over an hour,  Then let it bench ferment in a plastic covered, oiled bowl for 1 hour and then into the fridge in goes for 8-15 hours overnight.

  Take it out the next morning and let the dough rest and warm on the bench for 90 minutes.  Then  pre shape, shape and final proof in tins, baskets or couche until it is ready to bake - about 90 minutes to 4 hours depending on the dough and the temperature.

Happy Baking