The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Method post-retard?

bytebreader's picture

Method post-retard?

Hi all,

Been looking for specifics on what to do with my sourdough after retard.  I think I've read various mixed thoughts on these questions:


-How much rest before baking?  20 min.? 1 hour? 2 hour?  i.e., does it matter if it's at room temp or chilled when I bake it?

-Re-shaping?  I usually decide to re-shape or not depending on how the loaf looks...but would love to know if there is a 'standard' method for this after retard.



HansB's picture

I go straight from the refrigerator into the dutch oven without re-shaping. One thing you'll learn about standards in baking is that there is no standard...

Filomatic's picture

It's about well proofed or not--you can get great results with fully chilled dough.  But if it's underproofed, that's not good, so judge that and if it needs more time, continue rising until it's ready to bake.

eddieruko's picture

i don't have much by way of standard to share, but lately i've been finding time to mix & ferment in the evenings and this has been working for me. if i have the time to shape and place in bannetons before cold proof, i will bake straight from the fridge (much easier to score IMO too). but depending on how bulk fermentation goes, i don't always have enough time in the evening to wait to pre-shape and shape before i do a cold proof.

so instead, i bulk ferment for 2-3hrs or so, leave the dough in the bowl/bucket and it goes straight into the fridge. i was concerned about not getting enough fermentation, but that was put to rest when i saw the dough nearly reach the top of the bowl the next day! then i shape and bench proof for at least 1.5 hr, preferably 2, and bake. 

bytebreader's picture

Good to hear your experiences on this.  And good to hear no ill effect from baking chilled dough!

thanks, all!

AlanG's picture

I do a variant on David Snyder's San Joaquin SD and Hammelman's Vermont SD.  The bulk dough is in the refrigerator for 18-20 hours (depending on when I get up on the bake morning).  I usually have 1 kg of dough which then is split into 500 g batards.  It is pre-shaped and sits on the counter for 45 min to 1 hour depending on the kitchen temperature.  Final shaping is done and it sits in a couche for 30 minutes before baking. This gives me very repeatable results.