The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need an overnight sourdough

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Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Need an overnight sourdough

Do you have a recipe for white sourdough bread that has a final rise of about 8 hours? I want to bake a loaf first thing in the morning, without having to get up in the middle of the night (professional bakers must have a terrible social life). 

It should probably use only sourdough for leavening, so the final rise isn't too fast. I tried doing a search but, to tell the truth, I haven't figured out how recipes are store on this website.


pjkobulnicky's picture

Janet ... No special recipe. Just get everything to the point where you shape the dough last thing in the night, place it into whatever pans/molds you are going to use, cover them lightly with some plastic and pop them into the fridge. Next morning, preheat the oven and when it is up to temp, take the loaves out of the fridge, turn them out of the molds (unless in a pan) score and pop into the oven.

We do this all the time. So do bakers who usually do not bake bread in the middle of the night. Pastries get a night bake. Bread gets a day bake.


dabrownman's picture

The thing to remember is that some breads proof faster in the fridge than others because of some whole grains or a more active whole grains starter.

I retard almost all of my bakes and at 18 hours they were all over proofing  - not enough to cause a collapse but little spring in the oven.  At 12 hours they were proofed om90% and ready for the oven.  At 8 hours they were still under prooffed and had to finish up on the counter before baking.

You will just have to figure out what your recipe, flours and starter does time wise.  The bread tastes much better with a retard long cold retard too.

Happy baking

Bakingmadtoo's picture

I bake all my sour doughs, whatever the recipe, first thing in the morning. I aim to shape my dough and get it into bannetons by around six to seven in the evening, let it have an hour or two at room temperature ( which admittedly is ridiculously cold here),then leave it retarding in my garage overnight to bake around six in the morning. None have over proofed this way yet. I just have to work any recipe backwards to get the time to start.

Doc.Dough's picture

If you have someplace where you can reliably predict the temperature, then the range of interest is between about 45°F and 60°F. Below 45°F (this is like your regular refrigerator) the proofing time is very long (>18 hrs), and above 60°F the proofing time is less than ~8 hrs.  If you have the lower end of the scale available, then you can counter-proof for a while (you have to figure out how long) and then refrigerate (which will take an hour or two to stop the fermentation but after that is is pretty much just a holding game). If you have someplace that is closer to 60°F you can start mixing at a setback from when you want to bake of 10-12 hrs depending on other factors (like bulk fermentation temperature). Get it ready to proof and leave it at 60°F for about 8 hrs.  In both cases you can bake directly from the cooler. Be sure to wrap the dough in both a cloth floured with semolina or rice flour to keep it from sticking and an outer layer of plastic to keep it from drying out.