The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with adjusting recipe

ahbramey's picture

Help with adjusting recipe

Helllo! I am trying out this recipe: but realized I started the recipe at an awkward time to allow for a 10 hour cold proof in the fridge without having to stay up very late or wake up in the middle of the night. Since a large portion of the dough is starter, I'm thinking I have a good chance of overproofing the bread if I leave it refrigerated for more than 10 hours.

Could I do a shorter cold proof in the fridge? Maybe 6-8 hours? Or am I better off going over 10 hours? Or maybe I need to proof at room temp instead for a shorter time? It's winter where I am so room temp for me is about 65 degrees F (I am currently doing bulk fermentation in an off oven with the light on). I've never done a dough with this high of a percentage of starter/levain in it, which is why I'm not quite sure how to treat it. I think I have overproofed sourdough before in my fridge (though I am not a very experienced baker so it could've been a different problem for sure) and have found that, at least for my usual recipe (which mostly follows the Tartine Country Loaf recipe as written in the NYT), 10-12 hours in the fridge is the sweet spot. 

Grateful for any advice/opinions you have!

ahbramey's picture

Didn't receive any responses in time, so thought I'd just share what I did.

My intention was to follow the recipe fairly closely, but I made a few tweaks. The recipe didn't say what kind of starter was used, so I used my 100% rye starter. (when I try this again, I think I'll make a levain with AP or bread flour instead, and I will probably do a lower hydration like the recipe calls for.) I was using frozen bananas, and a commenter on the original post said they don't add extra liquid with frozen bananas since they release a lot of liquid as they defrost. So, I weighed out how much frozen banana I had, which was ~270g, so I used ~15g of extra water mixed with the salt. 

The written process in the original post was not incredibly clear to me as a newer baker, so here's what I did. 

  1. Autolyze with the flour and banana puree for 20 min.
  2. Add in the salt, water, and levain. Bulk ferment 3 hours with stretch & fold. (Didn't understand the 30-40 strokes part but I did do more stretches and folds than I normally would. Next time, I might try the slap and fold method??)
  3. Preshape and let sit for 30 mins. Shaped and put in fridge for 6 hours.
  4. Baked cold from fridge in a preheated Dutch oven for 20 mins at 410F and ~40 mins at 375F. I also let it sit in the turned off oven for several minutes towards the end of baking.

Banana pain au levain.

Smells great, love the color, unhappy with the rise. It is almost certainly underproofed. Next time I will time my baking better to allow this bread to reach its full potential!

barryvabeach's picture

Let me know how it tastes.  I love regular banana bread, and this sounds pretty interesting.  BTW,  banana bread french toast is the bomb.  

ahbramey's picture

Grr, sometimes my images flip and I have no idea how to fix them. If anyone can tell me how, please do!

Interior shot of a close textured bread.

It tastes really good. You can definitely taste the banana, but it's not sweet - it's actually pretty sour. I don't mind the texture - the bread is a little dense/heavy and a little bit of an open crumb would've been nice, but this isn't bad at all for my purposes (using it for toast). I recommend you try out the recipe! I think this would make a pretty awesome french toast.