The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine - Overnight Bulk Fermentation

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Tartine - Overnight Bulk Fermentation

I have been baking nothing but the basic country loaf now for several months, and my breads have always come out pretty good, though varying considerably in flavor.

I am a weekend baker and have wanted to get my bakes done early Saturday instead of late Saturday night or early Sunday.  So I decided to take another stab at doing things backwards.

Friday morning, I took my starter out of the fridge (last fed, a week earlier), and created the leaven.

Friday night, I mixed the dough and 90 minutes later, I added the salt and did one turn 30 minutes later, before placing it in the fridge.

Saturday morning I took out the dough, and did another turn. About an hour later I shaped and let it proof at 69 degrees, for 4 hours before baking.

The breads had a decent amount of oven spring.  The crumb was a bit dense.  The flavor was okay.

I would not say it was my favorite bread.  I reheated it on Sunday afternoon and it went over very well. I thought it was a little chewy and maybe a little gummy, like it was under baked slightly.  The second loaf I cut this morning and made a sandwich out of it. I do prefer less holes because it is easier to make PB&J without big holes running through my bread.  Again, the bread was a bit chewy but not too hard to eat. Gave my mouth a workout.  It did not taste gummy.  The flavor was okay.  I had a piece with butter and that was delicious.

So, it is not a ringing endorsement for baking bread for early Saturday afternoon, but I know that if I really need bread for Saturday, I can get it done in a pinch.  I might try it again with the proofing done at a warmer temperature, since the dough stayed pretty cool throughout the proofing.



Darwin's picture

Sounds like a good experiment even tho your not totally happy with the results. I am not much on big holes either, things don't stick to them real well.   The crust looks awesome :)

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

That is half the battle. I will likely try this again because it took much less time since it barely did any turns. 

The pizzas I made using a beer and same overnight rise tasted great so will definitely do that again. 

isand66's picture

Those look great.  Terrific crust.

Syd's picture

Agreed! Great looking crust.  I would suggest that you leave it out longer and add another turn or two before you shape and final proof.  I think you will get a less dense crumb and more height from the loaf.  I prefer to do the retarding at the final proof stage for this loaf.  After the bulk ferment, I shape, put them into their bannetons, leave them at room temperature for an hour or so (depending on the weather) and then retard for up to 18 hours in the fridge.  I usually bake straight from the fridge.



David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Is that it adds an extra day to the bake. I do not wish to spend 4 hours awake for a bulk rise Friday night, so am trying to retard when it fits my schedule better. But that may not make better bread.  Will try some more. 

dabrownman's picture

and especially out.  I do what Syd does, final proof in the fridge for 12 hours using a 20% Levain amount.  To speed things along, after a few minus if slap and folds to get the gluten a head start and 3 sets of S&F's on 30 minute intervals or 4 sets on 20 minute intervals if the dough feels slack, then ahaping in the baskets it goes somewhere around 2 hours after they are mixed.  No bulk ferment.  Then only and hour for counter proofing - you want to do this development  and proofing at 82 F over these 3 hours.  Then straight into the fridge for final cold proofing.  11 hours later they are 85 % proofed and I too bake them straight out of the oven.

So if you get home and can start the mixing by by 8 PM on  Friday night,  then you have bread for lunch on Saturday - which is what i do every week except I bake on Friday and start a day earlier (actually 2 days because I build the levain for 12 hours a day earlier and refrigerate that for 24 hours to improve flavor) .  To have bread for breakfast on Saturday morning you have to start the mix on Friday at 5 PM. and don't plan on eating breakfast until 9 AM.

You will figure out a schedule that works for you.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Being able to refrigerate the Levain is good to know! I thought it wouldn't work if I put it in the fridge after 12 hours.  Of course this is no longer a young levain as the book suggests. But I am willing to see how it impacts the loaf knowing it still works.  Do you mix right out of fridge and if so how warm is your water?

If i understand correctly, you mix the dough at 8. Do you add the salt and extra water at this point or do you wait 30 minutes to add the salt and 50g of water?

In any case after salt is added you so slap and folds followed by the stretch and folda 20-30 minutes later x 4 or 3, shape and leave on counter for another hour?

so that puts it in the fridge at 11 assuming no autolysis. Or 1130 if you autolyse?  Either way that is a tad late for me but 11 is doable.