The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

(Ice) Cold water vs fermentation with less yeast

BlackBird74's picture

(Ice) Cold water vs fermentation with less yeast

Whilst most specialist books recommend the DDT for a normal fermentation, a couple of times cold and even iced water is used.  Yet not because it's summer and neither because the dough was mixed in a food processor. This kind of puzzles me.

I have a recipe for ordinary rolls that explicitly calls for cold water. The recipe's fresh yeast % is at 5% which is quite normal. Its prescribed rest and fermentation times are quite normal too (about 1 hour 40 minutes in total).

I can't get my head around it what the benefit of the cold water might be. As it's not meant to become a starter, what's the advantage of slowing the yeast activity down? It's not like we're making a slow starter here or are aiming at a long fermenation time. Is it aimed at boosting the oven rise?

Wouldn't it rather be beneficial to reduce the amount of yeast and just have it ferment at the DDT?

Thinking about it, in general, is it advisable to use lest yeast but have that operate at a regular DDT?

Bigas for example also have little yeast, a rather cold environment and a long fermentation time. What would be the difference in using even less yeast but have it fermented at the temperature beneficial for yeast?

albacore's picture

I would be suspicious of any recipe using 5% fresh yeast - 2% is more what I would expect to see as a maximum - unless we are talking stollen or something similar.

Biga should always have 1% and the temperature (usually 18C) and time are then used to give the required maturity.