The Fresh Loaf

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retarding dough issues

mutantspace's picture

retarding dough issues

looking for advice on this bread below.

usually i bulk my dough for 3.5/4 hours and then retard proof in a banneton overnight in fridge, take it out bake and bread is good. 

this time i mixed, kneaded, left dough out for 45 -60 minutes max and then retarded for 24 hours. Next day I took it out - it was very cold as our fridge is small and fluctuates between warm and freezing - preshaped and left 30 minutes, shaped, left for 30 minutes and put back in fridge for 24 hours.

I took it out scored and baked cold in a hot pot. Got a good spring, but it was a small bread. It isnt heavy but as you can see the bread split on top, some of the holes collapsed and the holes around it are dense. 

Is this a case of underfermentation and under proofing due too excessive cold? 

Any advice much appreciated.    

hreik's picture

would you share your recipe?  like gms of water, starter, flours (and what kinds, etc),

Also, after the first 24 hours did it rise at all? Why did you bake it cold? 


mutantspace's picture

Standard recipe:

25% levain 

85% bread flour

10% ww

5% rye

2% salt

75% water 

Didn’t really rise after 1st 24 but few bubbles and very cold and I usually take retarded proof out of fridge, score and put into preheated Dutch oven and it’s perfect 

hreik's picture

to really rise properly.  just my 2 cents

DesigningWoman's picture

If I'm reading you correctly, your dough only got one hour max at room temp before retarding, then it doesn't look like it spent any time on the counter before the pre-shape and went back into the fridge after shaping. Perhaps the wee beasties just didn't have "enough time to party", as Abe would say. 

What if you gave it a longer bulk before the cold retard and an hour or two of warm-up time after the 24 hours in the fridge? You might need to wait for some signs of activity before the first retard, like bubbles at the bottom of your dough or some increase in size. The wee beasties may not have had time to wake up between the two stints in the fridge.

Just my two cents, there are more experienced bakers who'll be able to diagnose. 

Keep on baking,


mutantspace's picture

I think you’re both right - i should have given more time before bulk retard and then more before shaping - the only time over 48 hours it was at room temperature was first hour of mix and knead