The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulk ferment.... help!

hs4816's picture
hs4816

Bulk ferment.... help!

It takes however long it takes right? This is just my second loaf. Loaf number one was horribly under fermented. I had given it 6 hours BF then an overnight proof in fridge. It really looked like it had done nothing, but I figured 6 hours was probably a lot. My kitchen is definitely cool, probably about 70 degrees.

The only change I made this time was to switch to the 1 2 3 method. So hydration is a bit lower and the amount of active starter I'm using is a bit higher. I've been folding it every hour, it's been almost three hours and it looks the same. Nothing is happening.

I can be patient. I have all day. Does anybody ever let bulk ferment go 8 or 9 or 10 hours? Or should I try warming things up?

 

OldLoaf's picture
OldLoaf

70F seems a bit cool for BF.  So you can expect your dough to take longer to rise.  Just how long is up to your dough.  Average BF temp is typically around 77-80F. 

If you have an electric oven (or gas without a pilot light) you can turn the interior light on and leave the door cracked open slightly (oven off, of course).  This should get you around 80-85F and should speed up tour BF some.

Another option would be to use a heating pad (on low) and wrap your container in a couple of towels to retain heat.  Would be best to check the temps with a digital thermometer to make sure it’s not getting too warm.

It’s too late to try now, but if it's cool in your kitchen you can use very warm water when you mix your dough (85-90F).  It should get things going a little quicker.

hs4816's picture
hs4816

But If I'm patient, this temperature wont destroy the outcome? It does seem to be working slowly. Next time I'll warm things up. I think this time I'll just waaaaaaaait and see.....

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Yes, waiting it out is fine.

HS, Is your starter very active? 

You said your first loaf was very under fermented. Do you have images? Pictures always help. 

OldLoaf's picture
OldLoaf

If you are seeing signs of life then it should be fine.  The cooler temps just slow things down, but do no harm.  Some bakers will do their BF in the fridge (retarded bulk), just takes longer than room temp.

My preference is to do the BF at room temp (~77F), then do the proof in the fridge for 12-14 hours (retarded proof).  Fits into my schedule better.

hs4816's picture
hs4816

That was my plan. I still will put it in the fridge later, but I was hoping for a faster BF. I guess I need to turn up the heat next time. My baby monitor says 74 degrees now, so maybe it's a bit better

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

im in Ireland which is often cooler and what I do is put a cup of hot water into microwave turn it on for a few seconds to get it nice and warm and then put in dough...makes a nice proofer