The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cold Final Proof

PizzaCalcio's picture

Cold Final Proof


trying to become as efficient as I can with my Dutch oven - tried cold proofing a loaf in the banneton and threw in the next morning


50% Central Milling ABC+, 50% Mulino Marino Pandisempre 

72% hydration level dough , 50% prefermented flour (Biga) ,  0.2% total dry yeast 

made enough for two loaves -

first loaf was my usual , 3 hr bulk at 70F with 2 stretch and folds , 2 hr final proof - into a 500F oven (in my challenger Pan) , turning down to 460 when going in oven, 20 min top on pan, then 10 min off 

second loaf - 3 hr bulk at 70F with 2 stretch and folds , 15 min final proof then into fridge for 14 hours , pulled out of fridge the next morning , let sit for about 45 min as the oven was preheating - then same oven process as my first one 

my cold proofed loaf didn’t have as much spring as the first and the crumb was a little tighter, although it was still a good loaf 

Any thoughts on my process? My cold proofed loaf was a little hard on top when I pulled out of fridge, only covered with towel which probably wasn’t enough , this could have attributed to poor spring.

Also, does anyone have any tips for maximizing the number of loaves you can make in a home oven? 

I apologize for any misspellings or lack of punctuation, currently typing this with my 6 month old on my arm - here’s to a happy and healthy new year for everyone! 


wally's picture

Try giving your loaf a little more floor time before refrigerating (retarding). Perhaps 30-40 min at room temp, then covered and into the fridge.

PizzaCalcio's picture

Thank you Wally! I’ll try that 

banana's picture

Try not to degas the dough when shaping it. That will help get a wild open crumb.

PizzaCalcio's picture

Thank you !

Benito's picture

I personally like the crumb you have achieved, it is perfect for spreads that don’t leak out.

When you’re doing a cold retard in the fridge, you’ll want to place your banneton in a plastic bag in order to prevent it from drying out.  I’ve been using plastic reusable shower caps for some time now to cover bowls and I also just use it to cover the banneton while the dough is in the fridge for up to 24 hours.


PizzaCalcio's picture

Thanks Benny!