The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Skipping final proofing?

the_partisan's picture

Skipping final proofing?

I went to a local baking course (by Claus Meyer) and there we baked a 25% whole grain (Ølands Wheat) and 75% white flour sourdough bread with almost 90% hydration. This was really interesting, since the recipe doesn't really involve much shaping or final proofing. 

The process is as follows:

1. Mix all the ingredients (25% whole grain, 75% white flour, 7.5% starter, 1% fresh yeast, 2.5% salt, 87.5% water)

2. Do a series for stretch and folds over the course of 3 hours (about 6-7) or until the dough can pass the gluten window test.

3. Put the dough in the fridge for 12-24h

4. Take it out of the fridge 1h before baking to bring it up to temperature.

5. Put the dough onto heavily floured bench, fold it in half, then divide and loosely shape using a bench knife and bake it on a hot baking stone/tray.

A video of the final step can be seen here (some text in Danish)


This actually gave quite good tasting results and nice looking loaves. Has anyone else have experimented with this style of baking?

Colin2's picture

Lovely videos!

As you note there's only minimal shaping and the bulk ferment keeps most of its volume, so this works.  With that kind of ciabatta-like dough the final proof often seems like more of a rest, in any case.  

I was struck in the video of the oven spring by the way the loaf seemed to open at the bottom.  That I have not seen before.  I'd be interested to hear from the resident experts about what the crumb reveals.

mutantspace's picture

We used to do 80% sourdough baguettes in a bakery I did work experience in - the dough was retarded for up to 24 hours then poured onto heavily floured bench, folded over on itself, divided and put onto linen and proofed. Pretty similar to that method - must try it - thanks for sharing 

Bread1965's picture

Will bookmark this and try it one day.. thanks for sharing.. love the oven spring.. thanks for sharing!

the_partisan's picture

Now I tried this method at home, but without the yeast. 75% white, 25% whole grain purpur wheat , 85% hydration. I used 5% mature starter (50/50 purpur/wheat, 100% hydration). Bulk ferment at room temp for about 6 hours and giving several folds meanwhile (~8 in total). Then continue this in fridge for another 12h, until the dough has doubled.

Then pour the dough on to floured bench, fold in half, flour top and then tuck in sides and shape into a round ball using the bench knife, and then straight into the dutch oven. 

I'm still quite new to baking at home, so the scoring wasn't perfect. My question is, could the bread have benefitted from having a shaping and proofing step (Tartine-style, I would guess)? I am quite pleased with the result, and not sure what benefit the final shaping and proofing would bring?

Some pics:


hankjam's picture

Hi Partisan

It looked interesting and my regular method has not been behaving so I thought I would give it a go. Tried an all white and 20% Rye,

I probably need to go over a couple of things with you, it that is okay.

500g Strong white

40 g active starter

5 g fresh yeast

10 g salt

440 g water

So I don't know if it was the 5 g of fresh yeast but both loaves were very active. After 3 hours both were showing doubling, even with folding 6 times. I popped the all white into the fridge at 13:00. The Rye I baked around 14:00, 20 mins on full gas and then 15 mins at Gas 7. It looked good... but the crumb was very very soft and not sure if baked long enough.

By 20:00 the white dough in the fridge was pushing out of the bowl.... so I decided to bake then rather than leave to the morning, which had been the plan. 20 mins at Gas 9 and then 30 mins at Gas 7. Again a very moist crumb... still not sure if it was baked...

How long do you bake yours and what temperatures?

What is the best way to upload photos, mine always seem to be too large...

As an aside.... it there any point to trying to generate steam in a gas oven, does it not get dissipated with the gas fumes?



the_partisan's picture

I baked mine with a dutch oven, 47 min total, with the last 20 min being without lid. 245C / 475F. I think the internal temperature was 100.5C. With this very wet dough, the crumb stays quite moist even if you bake it quite long. 


hankjam's picture


Thank you for your reply.

Could I ask if you use a cold dutch oven, which makes transfer easier, or do you preheat the dutch oven. If the latter what method do you use. I read some bakers use parchment paper. Is this the same as grease proof paper?

Many thanks


the_partisan's picture

I use a hot one, I think if you use a cold one it may stick. I just pick the dough up with the bench knife and then place it inside the dutch oven.