The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to bake at 14:00 when my morning is busy?

Ittayd's picture

How to bake at 14:00 when my morning is busy?

I'd like to hear suggestions about baking sourdough at 14:00 when my morning is busy. 

Is it ok to have first proof and then put in the fridge for 14 hours? Any ratios of starter or water to consider? 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But I'd keep the starter percentage low. You wouldn't first proof then refrigerate as it'll continue to proof albeit more slowly. You can shape the dough, perhaps give it 'some' bench time  depending on how well your dough proofs in the fridge which is a bit of trial and error, and allow it to proof in the fridge.

So a recipe which is about 10-20% starter. Make the dough in afternoon/evening the day before. Allow to bulk ferment, shape and then refrigerate before going to bed. to be baked the next day in the afternoon.

jcope's picture

The activity rates vs temperature for the bacteria/yeast are published.  It's pretty easy to figure out fermentation time for a given temperature.  I keep a spreadsheet that helps me plan exactly how you are describing... If I mix at a time that is convenient for me and I know of a time when it will be convenient for me to bake, I can use the refrigerator and other temperature controlled environments to have the dough ready at that time, neither under- or over-fermented.

An example for me: mix in the evening of Day 1, and put the dough in the fridge.  Take half of the dough out of the fridge on Day 2 in the morning before I go to work.  Let it sit at a relatively cool room temperature, and bake around dinner time on Day 2.  The other half of the dough can be removed the next morning, and if kept a bit cooler can also sit out all day and bake on the evening of Day 3.  The maximum amount of time the dough can be in the fridge is about 5 days.

The added advantage is that extending the fermentation time out to 10-12 hours or more eliminates the need for stretching/folding.  At the end of fermentation, I just shape, proof and bake.  I have additional control since I bought an inexpensive wine cooler that allows me to more carefully control the second stage of fermentation.

This has allowed me to incorporate bread-making into my somewhat busy life as a part of my normal routines, instead of having it be a disruption.

Ittayd's picture

Thank you