The Fresh Loaf

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Bulk fermentation and proofing in fridge (7°C)

Vince920's picture

Bulk fermentation and proofing in fridge (7°C)

I've seen a lot of forums about bulk fermentation being done in the fridge and proofing in the fridge (my recipe uses the latter technique), but I want to take it a step further and do both in the fridge.

I've seen recipes online that asks to be fermented in the fridge with seemingly okay reviews.

My recipe asks for the dough to be proofed in the fridge for around 18 hours and it makes beautiful loaves.

I wonder how long should it take to bulk ferment in the fridge. Should it be around 24 hours? Should I leave it in room temp before refrigerating? I genuinely have no idea.

As for proofing, I leave it in room temp for 20 minutes before refrigerating it. Seems to work well.

I'm planning to have a recipe where I'd just mix the dough, let rest for 23 or so hours in the fridge, shape, then let rest for another 23 or so hours in the fridge prior to baking. Although is it possible?

AlanG's picture

and reported on this website about lengthy retardations of sourdough in the refrigerator.  As I recall some went as long a 36 hours but there was no apparent increase in flavor (which is why you do it in the first place).  You can repeat this experiments with your own recipe.  I've pretty much settled with a 20 or so hour retard fermentation for my sourdough bread.  It allows me to do the final proof and shape at room temperature in the morning followed by the bake.  If I start at 6 AM, everything is finished a little after 8 AM.

For me the important thing is to standardize things as much as possible so that I can get good loaves in a consistent manner.  If the taste and texture are right I don't see the need for further experimentation.

Vince920's picture

It's about my schedule. I found that if I do such technique I would be able to make bread during school days.

What I need is an actual proven schedule for both fermentation and proofing in the fridge.