Experimenting with cold bulk fermentation
I am new to this site and have enjoyed reading through so many of the posts on here. I'm experimenting with cold bulk fermentation in order to fit more baking into my schedule and spread it throughout the week. I recently made this honey spelt sourdough recipe and decided to bulk ferment it in the fridge "overnight" -- meaning I mixed it around 9:30 yesterday morning, put it in a plastic tub, covered, and then set it in the fridge around 10am. It rapidly increased in volume and is now (5am the next day) at about the 8-quart mark (I quadrupled the recipe!).I'm wondering if I can leave it in the fridge for a while longer, or if I should take it out now. And when I do take it out of the fridge, do I let it come to room temp before dividing and shaping? I chose bulk fermenting in the fridge because it's made using sourdough/levain and I thought I'd see what a retarded cold ferment does to the flavor. I've made this recipe many times following the standard instructions, bulk fermenting at room temp for an hour or so, and so I'm familiar with how it tastes. In fact I have a "standard" recipe loaf on my counter right now, ready for the test taste comparison :)
I'm still rather new to this and while cold bulk fermenting seems like the holy grail to me in terms of getting more scheduling flexibility, I'm also a little fuzzy on just *how* flexible it is. This is particularly because I have Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day, in which many of the recipes can be bulk fermented in the fridge for up to 4 days(!!). Why is it ok to keep them in there that long? I have started making a spreadsheet to compare the above recipe to some of his in terms of percentages in order to get some perspective on this. Here is what I have calculated for the percentages for the honey spelt sourdough recipe I currently have exploding in the fridge:
|SD Starter (1 Tbsp)|
|Salt, 1.25 tsp||9.375||2%|
|Instant yeast, 0.5 tsp||1.58||0.3%|
Thank you in advance for any advice!