The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking bread that's not a room temperature

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sasafred's picture
sasafred

Baking bread that's not a room temperature

I put a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread in my cold garage overnight because I didn't have time to bake yesterday. It was already formed and in the pan. I'm using a new sourdough starter that seems to be rising slower than previous ones, so I figured a night in the garage would slow down the rise enough that I could put it in the kitchen in the morning and let it rise then. I grabbed it this morning and it's risen beautifully! My problem is that I want to bake it now, but it's still cold from the garage (probably about 50F). Do I have to wait for it to warm back to room temp or can I go ahead and bake now?

tchism's picture
tchism

If it feels proofed enough it could be fine. Use the finger poke method to check proofing. 

If you decide to proceed with baking, I suggest scoring the top of the loaf well do that it has room for a good oven spring.

sasafred's picture
sasafred

It felt ready for baking when I found it this morning. I let it warm up a bit but then went ahead and baked it while it was still a little cool. Thanks for the scoring tip! Looks great!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

cold right out of the fridge at 36 F if the dough is properly proofed.makes the scoring a lot easier too.  The dough doesn't seem to mind - so I don't :-)

sasafred's picture
sasafred

That's really good to know. I figured I'd get uneven baking if the bread was colder throughout, but it sure doesn't look like it. I might start saving myself some time by baking it cold on a more regular basis. 

Thanks for the reply!

kygin's picture
kygin

Several years ago I did a trial bake with two of Susan's Simple Sourdough loaves, one right after the other with one allowed to come to room temperature, the other straight out of the refrigerator.  I could see no appreciable difference between the two once baked.  Both crust and crumb were excellent.  The cold dough came out of the banneton holding it's own shape a bit better, and as someone else mentioned, scoring is ever so much easier.  As long as the dough has risen properly, I almost always bake straight out of the refrigerator now.

sasafred's picture
sasafred

i'm so glad others have explored this topic before. This is going to save me a lot of time. I love the flavor enhancement I get from a longer proof in the fridge and now I can do it much faster. Thanks, kygin.