The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How long is too long for a preferment?

kristaleebee's picture

How long is too long for a preferment?

Hi friends, 

I was wondering how long is too long to preferment a sponge for a loaf? My recipe recommends 12-14 hours, but I let it go for 24? Could this ruin my loaf? Thanks!


Danni3ll3's picture

At this point, you have nothing to lose so go ahead and finish it. 

suave's picture

If it's overfermented to a point where it has completely collapsed and lost structure, yes, of course.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and the size of the preferment and temperatures involved.  If a large portion of the dough is prefermented and overfermented it will definitely affect the dough.  Temperature should also be considered.  A cold preferment might be fine.