The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Timing my rise

mizrachi's picture

Timing my rise

My new culture is doubling in three hours and is looking healthy and vibrant.  How should I time my bakes to maximize rise?  Weird question, I guesss, but anything that remotely resembles math makes me panic!

cranbo's picture

Tough to narrow it down, you have a lot of options. Consider these questions:

  • How much starter will you use in your recipe (as a % of total flour in your recipe)?
  • At what temperature will you let it rise?
  • Will you be incorporating a refrigerated fermentation period?

The key is to find what works for your style and your schedule.

If you do use a refrigerated fermentation period, this will give you additional flexibility for timing your bakes.


G-man's picture

I would pick a day where you have nothing scheduled and start early. Watch it pretty closely throughout the day and see what happens when. That's just the best way to start learning about how your starter works when you're making bread.

I'm not suggesting sitting with the bowl in your lap staring at it or anything. :) Just making sure you're not gone for several hours.

JizoGarden's picture

My starter is ready to go and I'm not :(  I have been feeding it once a day for the last 5 days waiting for a day that I can actually make my first sourdough loaf (should I be feeding 2 times a day?).  In the recipe I am going to do it says I can keep in the frig overnight.  I won't have a free day to pay attention until Sunday.  Is it ok to keep feeding my starter day after day?  Clearly I'm a beginner and finding timing a challenge :P  

Here's what i'm thinking...feed tomorrow morning and then feed late afternoon...getting ready for overnight rise...ready to go on Sunday :) Good?

I'm going to try this recipe

Any ideas appreciated....feeding and timing seem to be my bug-a-boo....sigh.....

Thanks, Laura

cranbo's picture

Your schedule sounds fine. 

Yes your sourdough can live in the fridge overnight (or longer; see dabrownman's "no muss no fuss" starter method, which uses a stiff rye starter which lives for weeks in the fridge); that said your starter may be happiest living at room temp, being fed at least 1x per day. 

The recipe will be fine; two tips:

1. definitely follow the instructions for the stretch & folds, it makes a big difference with crumb of final product

2. Watch the dough & not the clock: use a see-through plastic container (like a large plastic bucket or pitcher) where you can easily tell when the dough has actually doubled during bulk fermentation. This may take a really long time if you have a young starter. 

good luck!

JizoGarden's picture

Thanks so much...fingers crossed :)