The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

more flavor?

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christinepi's picture
christinepi

more flavor?

I've been using Breadtopia's yeast no knead method with great success. One thing that's missing (to me), however, is great flavor. I let the dough bulk ferment for 18 hours out on the counter top, then shape and let rise again for 65 minutes. I realize that better flavor can be had with longer fermentation, but I'm totally unsure how to go about that. Could I, say stick it in the fridge once ingredients have been mixed? If so, how long is safe? At what point might the instant yeast run out of steam? 

I'm aware that using sourdough starter would yield more flavor, but I'm taking a break from trying (3 times now) to create a starter that actually will thrive, rather than go to sleep and smell weird. 

tchism's picture
tchism

Yes, you could place it in the fridge covered with plastic right when you would be starting your 12-18 hour proof. leave it over night and then proceed with your proofing. When you dough looks and feels like you are used to seeing during the normal process, bake as usual. It most likely would be ready sooner than normal because of the over night in the fridge. Maybe 8-10 hours but you will need to judge it.

You didn't list what kind of flour you use. If you are just using AP or bread flour, adding some whole wheat or a little rye could kick up the flavor too. I would try 1/4 to 1/3 rye or maybe that and the same amount of whole wheat.

christinepi's picture
christinepi

1/3 whole wheat and 2/3 bread flour. I've added walnuts and sunflower-flax-pumpkin seeds (not all at the same time). My plan was to try steel cut oats next. And rye sounds good, too!

I'll play around with the retarding. One problem I see is this: I mix at 8pm and let ferment until 2pm. All told I'm done baking by 4:30pm. If I retard the dough in the fridge overnight, and then add 8-10 hours, it's too late for me to bake. What, say, if I retarded for 48 hours, is there a chance that after taking it out of the fridge, it might only need to proof like, say, 4-6 hours, or less? Or is there no chance the instant yeast will have enough life left? I can start trying the overnight fridge scenario and just see what the next day will bring, but is is a foregone conclusion to try 48 hours?

 

tchism's picture
tchism

I know you can go that long with sourdough but I don't have experience with commercial yeast and cold ferment. I think as long as you go to the fridge shortly after mixing you should be able to go that long.

Good luck!

BGM's picture
BGM

Not sure what flavor you are looking for.  Overnight rising of the whole batch at room temperature should give you all the flavor you are going to get from yeast and flour.  Sourdough adds a bacterial component that jacks up the flavor.

Are you using "good " fresh flours? Old whole wheat flour can really mess up a bread.  I use only King Arthur flours and keep any whole grain flours in the refrigerator or freezer.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Christine,

You could stretch the fermentation a lot longer by using a pre-ferment, like a poolish or a biga. That pre-ferment can be made with a tiny fraction of the amount of yeast you would normally use. It should be something you could mix up quickly 12 hours or so before you would normally begin your process, so it doesn't change your timings much, but it will help add a bit more flavor to your bread. Perhaps, use the 1/3 amount of whole wheat that you normally put into your bread, and enough water to get the right consistency, and a fraction of the yeast called for with your normal process. To use it, subtract the flour and water amounts from what you normally would use in the dough, and don't add any more yeast.