The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bulk fermenting light enriched and fully enriched

Sour_Baker's picture

Bulk fermenting light enriched and fully enriched

Usually if the starter is small enough or if it’s cool enough you could get away with bulk fermenting on the counter overnight.

but what if the dough has either milk or butter or a combination? Would the dough not ferment as well? Meaning does the added fats and such go bad?


Thank you all for easing my mind!

pmccool's picture

I use the recipe in the King Arthur 200th anniversary cookbook.  That recipe calls for milk in the dough and an overnight bulk fermentation.  Those conditions made me a bit skittish about using the recipe, initially.  I finally took the plunge and have had consistently good results ever since.  There's no hint of spoilage, no off flavors in the finished muffins.

I do choose a cooler, rather than warmer, location for the overnight ferment. While I'm not sure how much difference it actually makes, at least I can tell myself that it helps.


Phazm's picture

No - it won't go bad. Enjoy! 

Abe's picture

Preferment a large percentage of flour and water then bulk ferment for a shorter amount of time. Probably a better option in enriched doughs anyway. 

Bronze's picture

I tend to think that enrichments slow down fermentation, so the more you'd add the safer you'd be with overnight fermentation. Also as a kitchen scientist of all things dairy, I wouldn't worry about fats/diary going bad overnight, or even over the course of a couple days. Especially if you're working with raw milk, cream, or butter. But even in general I find it takes longer than a couple days for butter, lard, olive oil, etc. to go bad. If you are nervous about cream or milk, add a tiny bit of sour milk (labeled buttermilk by grocery stores) to your dairy product before adding it to the dough. Though I don't know that it's necessary since the yeasts, cultures, and acidity at work in an overnight dough will all interact with milk and cream in a positive way 99% of the time.


BrianShaw's picture

Never been a problem for me. Butter will stay good at room temp for a week or so with no ill effects. But if the milk is a worry perhaps using UHT shelf-stable milk will alleviate that anxiety. 

foodforthought's picture

I’ve been baking @txfarmers shredible white sourdough sandwich bread for the last two years. I think of it as white brioche. The levain which I build over 36 hours on the counter has milk in it. The refrigerated dough which has more milk takes a good 5-7 hours to proof. Have never noticed any off smells or tastes. It’s a great bread, too. Recommended!