The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cold proofing

martusia's picture

Cold proofing


For some time now I've been baking Forkish's white poolish bread form FWSY. I got to the stage that my loaf has really decent crumb, very similar to the one from original photo, baking without the dutch oven only on my oven sheet with some steaming.

The thing is, I need to bake in turns. And when I follow Forkish guidelines and refrigerate my second turn from 20 mins before the first loaf I get really dense crumb that I don't like. I don't know whether I under- or overproof the loaves and how can I manage that. When in the oven they spill rather than rise. I'm wondering could it happen because they are cold inside and need more time to warm up?

I have some troubles proofing those loaves, when I try finger test I get different results in different places on the surface so I just proof for what I see could give the best result. But that is troubling with the second turn.

Please please help, I'm completely lost with that point. I'm sorry I cannot supply you with photos right now, but if it's needed I can manage some.

breadforfun's picture

Here are a couple of things that may help:

-As described here on TFL (and from personal experience), Forkish pushes his dough to near the edge.  When proofing, it is pretty easy to go over that edge, so it very possible that your second dough is overproofed.

-It takes a relatively long time for a dough to cool down when it is refrigerated.  During that cooling time, it is still proofing.

-I have found that a poke test on cold dough is unreliable.

Given the above, what you might try is putting the second loaf in the refrigerator about 2 hours earlier than you are now, and taking it out when the first loaf is being baked, or even leaving it in until it is ready to be baked.  I have often baked cold dough directly from the refrigerator without adverse effects.  It doesn't appear that you are using a baking stone, but if you were, another thing to keep in mind is that it takes some time (30 minutes or so in my setup) for the stone to come back to the same temperature as the first loaf.

Hopefully this will be useful for you.


martusia's picture

Thank you kindly for your suggestions! It might be difficult to putting the second loaf 2 hrs before because proofing is only 1hr long. Plus, I don't have a baking stone, only oven sheet, but it works fine for me right now. I will try refrigerating the loaf immediately.

I'm wondering what could be the problem that I get different poking results depending on where I poke. If I'd just poked once and hit the airy spot I could've got the idea that it's already proofed after like 2 mins.