The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulk ferment 8 hrs. in fridge?

Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

Bulk ferment 8 hrs. in fridge?

I work full time, and bake when I get home from work.

I make the pre-ferment at night, let it sit out all night, then put it in the fridge before going to work.

I make the main dough when I get home from work, but I'm impatient and hungry and I might cut corners on the bulk ferment, stretch & fold, 2nd ferment, & proofing.

What if I made the main dough in the morning before work, left it in the fridge for the bulk ferment, and then continued with the proofing after work?

I have done this with pizza dough with success.

My baguettes & ciabatta have not turned out well because I think I am too impatient with the proofings.

dabrownman's picture

just about any SD bread for 8 hours and usually up to 15-24 hours depending on the dough and how much hole grain is in it.  If you shape it and basket it before you go off for work, it might be ready to bake right out of the oven or a short 1-2 hour counter proof if it isn't fully risen. 

If you aren't using SD you probably want to cut back on the yeast used but since I don't make bread with commercial yeast perhaps someone else can give you heads up as to how much to cut it back.  I would guess half but it would be a guess. 

Janetcook's picture

Yes, that would work just fine and it would give the bread more flavor too :)  You will have to adjust your starter accordingly  so the dough is ready to be shaped and proved when you get home. THis might take some experimenting on your part :)

Good Luck,