The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

4-5 hour car ride with bread dough (different from other thread!)...

Theresse's picture

4-5 hour car ride with bread dough (different from other thread!)...

I'm not sure if sourdough starter instead of dry yeast plays a role in the decision I should make about how to transport my dough...

10 or 11 hours from now I will have levain dough that has been bulk-fermenting.  Ken Forkish's recipe says to then shape and proof for about another 4 hours.  But I'd like to take it on a 4-5 hour drive and then decide what to do with it once at the house I'm going to (bread or pizza).

I've only been fermenting it for about a half-hour now so I could stop everything I'm doing (it's supposed to be done in room temp for this particular recipe) and retard it in fridge for the remaining time.  And then maybe it could slowly rise on the drive?  Or, I could just keep things the way they're supposed to be, according to his recipe.  But even then, in what condition should I transport it?  When the 12 hours have passed and it's leavened, should I make the two balls and then:

- wrap up tightly and store in fridge till I leave about 4 hours after that?  I can bring cooler, or not.

- wrap up tightly and freeze till I leave 4 hours later?  I can bring cooler, or not.

- wrap up loosely and allow balls to rise, then transport them on the drive while they continue to rise (though they may fall and flatten at that point!)?

- shape them (put in bannetons) - if I decide to do bread instead of pizza - then put them in fridge until time to go then let them continue to retard in cooler until we get there?

Thank you so much!  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I love this forum!

Theresse's picture

Well since I'm not sure now if I'm leaving later today or tomorrow morning, I just gently formed two balls out of the dough, put a tiny drop of olive oil on my hands and greased the insides of two gallon ziplock bags, and then put the dough in there and in the fridge for now.  

I figure my friends and I will have either bread or pizza in the next few days so no rush, however here are my questions now:

- if I don't want the dough to be too sour, should I be freezing it?  Will the fridge temp make it more or less sour?  I've actually read conflicting info in the past.

- re. artisan breads, will the process of the dough sitting in fridge, cooler or freezer over next few days ruin the chances of a nice open crumb?  I've been so gentle with the dough so far, stretching and folding only.  In other words should I only make pizza dough with it at this point, or can I still get a nice boule out of one or both of the loaves?