The Fresh Loaf

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Ack! Help, help, help!

mcfarlanea's picture

Ack! Help, help, help!

Foolish me!

In my excitement to make Rustic Bread: ( I neglected to plan out when all the key points I'd need to be in the house would occur.  I.e. it's such a long recipe (16h preferment, 2.5h proof, 10min rest, 1.5h final rise, 35min bake) that it means I need to be around for most of a weekend.  Unfortunately, I also have to work!

It's not a complete disaster.  The preferment turned out terrifically and the dough has the best texture of any loaf I've ever made (which isn't an enormous number, but nonetheless exciting).  My options are to cut the proofing time down by 45min OR add 30-45min of proofing time and attempt to "stall" the whole process by sticking it in the fridge (or freezer?).

Help!  Bread gurus, what should I do? 

KosherBaker's picture

If I were given a choice between cutting the proofing time by 45 minutes or adding 45 minutes to the proofing time. I would pick adding 45 minues. As that will allow more flavor to develop to your bread. Make sure you don't do this during the final fermentation phase, but rather during the bulk phase. And if possible fold the dough over right before you add those 45 minutes. No need to stick it in the fridge if all you are adding is 45 minutes. The fridge will buy you hours of time like from 8 to 24 hours.

If you need more info please provide more details about your recipe/formula and your process.

My TFL Blog Page

mcfarlanea's picture

I ended up letting it rise an extra 45min (with an extra fold) during the "main" rising stage, the put it in the fridge for 5h.  When I returned home I found that it had risen slightly in the fridge.  Once I took it out and let it return to room temperature (about 10-15min), I divided it into two balls and shaped it for baking.  It's rising as I'd expect now, although I wish I knew how to get bread to rise more "up" than "across."

I'll post the results.  This is my first loaf using a preferment and I'm really excited to taste the difference.