The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Adapting a recipe for overnight refrigerated fermentation

Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

Adapting a recipe for overnight refrigerated fermentation

When adapting a recipe that calls for a bread to be baked the same day it is mixed to an overnight refrigerated slow fermentation method should I:

  • decrease the amount of yeast and if so, by what percentage?
  • refrigerate the mixed dough immediately after mixing?

Thank you for your comments,


PaddyL's picture

I made four loaves of sourdough plus yeast bread this morning, straight from the fridge.  The minute I set the bowls of bread to rise last night, the power went off and stayed off 'til after midnight, so I shaped the bread after it had risen, put it into their pans and put them into the fridge.  I baked them this morning and they're delicious.

Heath's picture

I don't know if there are any hard and fast rules - I haven't come across them if there are.

I recently made this focaccia:

which calls for 2 tsp of yeast.  I wanted to retard overnight in the fridge so I reduced the yeast to 1/4 tsp, which worked fine for me.  If you're talking about sourdough, it rises so slowly anyway that I don't usually reduce the amount of starter in the recipe.

I tend to refrigerate the dough after I've seen a bit of rise, to let the yeast get going, which can be a short time in the summer or all evening in the winter.  I think you just need to find out what suits you best.

hanseata's picture

I reduce the yeast quite a bit (try reducing it in increments, I can't give you a percentage), refrigerate the dough right after mixing, and take it out at least 2 hours before using.


Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

Thanks to all for your helpful replies. I think the way to go is as suggested: decrease the yeast (I'll try by 20%), refrigerate immediately after mixing, and remove from refrig 2 hours before baking.

Depending on how the finish bread responds I will make adjustments.