The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

overnight recipe with starter

wyethia's picture

overnight recipe with starter

I know there is a way, but I'm getting a bit lost in a sea of too much information trying to figure out what to do if I would like to start a loaf of bread the night before and cook it in the morning.  I have a well started and well fed sourdough starter.  I have up to 4 hours to play with the night before, either a fridge or room temp (around 65 degrees) overnight and up to 2 hours the next morning.  OR I could wait and cook the bread the next evening, giving me a full 20 hr proof. I mainly just want to be able to play with making bread during the week. 

if any of you have a basic recipe, knead/proof schedule that might work to try, I'd be thrilled.

I'm still somewhat a beginner, but have been baking yeast breads for many years with and without using sponges.  I have made sourdoughs before, I just always use a weekend schedule.

you all are wonderful--I'm loving browsing through all the posts. Thanks for any help you can provide.


jeffbellamy's picture

You can do the first rise overnight and then shape, rise and bake the next day.


Just this last week I put the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of days and then shaped it and let it rise overnight and baked it in the morning. That worked really well and gave me a very nice chewy sourdough Boule.



LindyD's picture

I bake Hamelman's "Vermont" sourdough midweek - but I call it "North Woods" SD because I don't live in Vermont.  You can read more about it at this link

I deviate a bit from his formula by skipping making the liquid levain and substituting my own starter.  I like the taste better than when I use the liquid levain.

I follow all other instructions, shape the loaves, pop them in the refrigerator overnight, then pull them out when I come home from work and bake.  I've found that with a 16-18 hour fermentation, the loaves are pretty much doubled and don't need much warm-up time.

It is a wonderfully easy recipe which produces a great sourdough bread.  We did a group bake of this bread last July and I liked it so much it's turned into my daily bread.

holds99's picture

Re: Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough Bread, LindyD wrote: "It is a wonderfully easy recipe which produces a great sourdough bread." 

That says it all!


gavinc's picture

I agree.  I make two loaves of VSD every weekend.  In the morning I do the final build of my liquid levain. In the evening I mix, autolyse, bulk ferment and shape.  Retard in refrigerator until next day.  At my leisure on Sunday I remove the loaves from the refrigerator while the oven's warming up and bake.  Sometimes I travel to my son's place with the unbaked loaves (pan loaves for this) and bake there.  I have a portable refrigerator in the back of your car (for camping) and continue the retard until I arrive.  It's great.



dmsnyder's picture

Hi, wyethia.

Welcome to TFL!

There are a number of recipes that can work the way you want. Look at this ...

and this ...’s-rustic-light-rye-leader

You can also slow retard a formed loaf for more or less time, within limits, to fit your schedule.

If you find other solutions, let us know. Many are in the same boat as you are.


wyethia's picture

Thank you for your replies.  I tried a hydrid approach last night as a test.  I recently bought Artisan bread in five minutes a day, but am most interested in using my sourdough and desem also am reading Lepard's book, the handmade loaf, with his short, minimum knead's.

I mixed up two different batches of dough, one using desem starter and one with my wet sourdough starter. I added some pre-soaked barley to both, honey, and olive oil (I'm just making this up!).  I made the dough fairly wet (per the Artisan in 5 book) and let the dough rise at room temp (65 degrees F) for 3 hours, then refridgerated the dough.  I did one mix to incorporate the ingredients, 10 min rest. 10-15 second knead, then one more 10-15 sec knead. Both doughs felt more stretchy and doughlike, but the desem one might be too wet, it is very sticky.

This morning both had obviously been doing something. the sourdough one had nice big bubbles in it.  I wanted to test to see what was going on and I made a tiny loaf and let it rise at room temp for 30 min and popped it in. I'm saving the rest to 'treat properly' and try and make a real loaf.

But...I had to take it out too soon.  But the mini loaf came out great on the bottom--nice crunch. The crumb was a bit chewy and a tad dense but there was some rise and it is tender.  The top was soft and not crisp (I think a bad combo of rise time, oven temp etc.) 

The great news self-made sour starter seems to be working and has good flavor!  It is the first try with it.

I can't wait to see what happens when it is further proofed.