The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

When does the dough go in fridge for overnight fermentation?

BKSinAZ's picture

When does the dough go in fridge for overnight fermentation?

When, after bulk rise or after 2nd rise? I don't get any tangy flavor and trying to figure out my problem. 

After bulk rise I put into banneton and let it go thru second rise before putting it in the fridge.

I Normally bake directly from fridge in cast iron, but now ask if should I leave it sit on counter top for awhile before baking? How long?

How do you do it?

Bread comes out beautiful with decent Crumb, but not tangy 

Thank you.

gavinc's picture

From my Hamelman notes:

If our goal is bread with a stronger tanginess:

• Pre-fermenting a greater percentage of the overall flour will obviously result in more acidic loaves.

• Fully ripening the final (or only) sourdough build will also result in increased acidity in the finished loaves.

• Lengthening the bulk fermentation will increase acidity, as long as care is taken not to over-age the dough before dividing it.

• Retarding shaped loaves for several hours or overnight will perceptibly increase acetic acid levels. Note that this tactic can be disastrous when making loaves containing a large percentage of rye flour ( over 50 percent or so), as the dough structure, already tenuous in the presence of all that rye, can break down as the acidity increases during the cold phase.  

BKSinAZ's picture

This is great, but did not answer my questions

gavinc's picture

When retarding the final proof in the bannetons, I put the dough immediately into the refrigerator and retard for up to 8 hours at 10C, or up to 18 hours at 6C. I cover the doughs with plastic.

I don't use a Dutch oven, but bake free-form on a stone. I take the dough from the refrigerator and directly into the oven. The difference between the refrigerator and room temp is insignificant when the oven is about 238C.

Hope this helps.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What kind of yeast is in the dough?  (Just to be clear.) :)

If it is a sourdough, it is possible to have a wild sourdough that is sweet, hang on to it, keep it separate, great for sweet types of baking.  Then start a new sourdough starter with a different method than what was used to create this sweet one.  Sure would be fun to know and compare the differences.  Don't burn your notes.

Oh, and when to put into the refrigerator depends on several factors..temp of dough, temp of fridge, type of dough, timing of bake, advanvement of fermentation when going into the fridge, type of yeast, presence and type of bacteria, reliability of recipe, and hydration. Just to name a few factors.  

Generally speaking, waiting for "signs of life" before chilling is a good suggestion.  

BKSinAZ's picture

Yeast is from an 8 month old mother using feeding mostly KA AP flour. Occasionally I throw some KA whole wheat when feeding. 100 grams water to 100 grams flour. I like the San Francisco-style (white) sour dough. Lately I also been experimenting with also adding 1/8 tsp active dry yeast in bread in addition to starter. My recipe is straightforward using bakers math or close to it... Flour, 70-72 percent water, starter and 2% salt.

I basically use this recipe.. could it be too much starter??

Last night I made another loaf. I did a bulk rise on counter top for over 3 hours with stretch folds every 40 minutes. I know 3 hour bulk rise is on the side of extreme, but it was an experiment. I then shaped and placed in banneton with a second 45 minute rise on counter top. I then placed in fridge 46 degree Fahrenheit for 12 hours.

After the 12 hrs in fridge, I baked directly from fridge. Bread came out visually beautiful with nice oven spring. Crumb was slightly tight, but that might have been from the over bulk rise.

Unfortunately bread still had ZERO tang. So frustrating.

JeremyCherfas's picture

As others have noted. I tend to either retard the bulk when it is about halfway done, so in my case after about 3 hours at room temp. (This is with a sourdough leaven at about 20% of the final dough weight.) Alternatively, I put the shaped loaves, in bannetons, into the fridge immediately after shaping. Fridge is at about 4°C.

foodforthought's picture

…at least overnight in fridge. For sourdough batards I tend to retard after 2-3 hours of bulk and 3-4 stretch and folds. When I pull dough from fridge, I’ll pre-shape and rest on counter for 30-45 minutes, then final shape and rest for another 20-30 minutes before baking. Sooo, I guess the dough does warm up quite a bit from 37 dF, but unlikely to ambient, at least for batards. Not sure what level of tanginess you’re after, but my friends and I like my bread just fine.

I generally include a substantial 300+ g of levain and another 250-300 g poolish in a 2.5 kg (3 batard) dough batch, so maybe I’m inadvertently getting flavor per @gavinc’s Hamelman notes.

Good luck,


rondayvous's picture

I mix the dough, let it set for 30 or 40 minutes, kneed and stick it in the fridge for a day or two. Once I'm ready to make the bread, I take it out of the fridge. I then stick it in a proofer for an hour or so.  I like the convenience, and the dough seems to like the rest.