I've got a question about retarded fermentation or cold fermentation. Are there any qualitative differences between retarding the bulk fermentation and the final fermentation (the final proofing bit before loaves go into the oven)?
A couple of the straight dough recipes in Hamelman's "Bread" suggests retarded bulk fermentation, and I have had excellent results when I've tried this method on his straight oatmeal bread. However, due to changing work schedules etc., it sometimes could be more convenient to prolong the final fermentation instead; for instance shaping loaves and refrigerating them in the evening, and then putting them straight into the oven in the morning. I've done this retarded step only with straight doughs so far: Are there any pitfalls to avoid when the dough contains a pre-ferment (biga, poolish, pate fermentee)?
I would be very interested in hearing about your experiences with retarding the fermentation process at different stages throughout the bread making process!
Also, I've wondered why Hamelman suggests retarded bulk fermentation only when it comes to straight doughs. Will retarding a pre-fermented dough make it too sour, you think?