The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ambient to Retarded switch

dennis's picture

Ambient to Retarded switch

I'm basically using Vanessa Kimbell's book to get going with baking sourdough. She provides rough timings for ambient and retarded methods.

Is there any reason why I can't start off with the ambient method and switch at the end of bulk fermentation to retarded method i.e. pop it in the fridge overnight?

Ru007's picture

trying, but typically I bulk ferment my loaves at room (ambient?) temp, retard the shaped loaf overnight and bake straight from the fridge. 

Plenty of bakers retard the dough at some point during the bulk fermentation, let it warm up in the morning, shape and then bake. 

Hope this helps? 


dennis's picture

Hi, yes it does. Thank you so much.


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I usually use the same method Ru does - bulk ferment at room temperature for a period of time (depends on innoculation rate, flour mix and a whole bunch of other factors) then put the dough in the fridge overnight (or sometimes longer). If it's a sourdough with low innoculation (i.e. not a lot of starter in it) then I might leave it at a cool room temperature overnight, as fermentation is very slow (or non-existent) in the fridge.

dennis's picture

Thanks. I'm not sure we have a cool enough room to keep it out overnight. The house is usually about 21 degrees and I'm limited by having 30 cats! I'll put it in the top of the fridge and I don't have to bake it first thing, so if it doesn't look ready it can come out onto the bench again.

Sondelys's picture

Lazy Loafer could you be more explicit for me ? I am curious to know : since there could be so many factors ,  Is there a CLUE that indicates you that BF is completed and ready to go for retardation in fridge ?

And at a low Temperature around  what degree ?

And to determine the dough is ready to be bake do you rely on the poaking finger test ? My fridge is around 4*C so quite  low , should  I let it sit there more than 12 hours ? For how many hours can I allow a dough to retard ? Is there a limit ?

Also is that true that if I use to retard , it cannot be for both Fermentation ? I heard that  if  I retard for BF I cannot retard for Proof . Thank you so much 


hreik's picture

method.  Bulk ferment at RT and overnight final (shaped) rise. 

Good luck


dennis's picture

Thank you. Only my 3rd loaf (sourdough - I bake lots of other bread) but enjoying experimenting and learning.