Fermenting, Proofing & Retardting

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by kylew, Jul 26, 2001.

  1. kylew

    kylew

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    Every recipe/formula I've read for a naturally leaven bread calls for the dough to ferment at room temp and for the shaped loaves to proof briefly at room temp and then retard in the fridge. Peter Reinhart even states that you should never refridgerate an unshaped dough. My question is: Why? From a timing point of view it sure would make my life easier if I could retard an unshaped dough for up to 12 hrs in the fridge and then proof shaped loaves for 3-4 hrs at room temp.
    As always,
    Thanks!
     
  2. isaac

    isaac

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    i am by no means a bread baker but i have worked for a few. i dont see why you couldnt referate an unshaped dough. i think it might enhance the flavor do to the retarding process. try it. let all of us know.

    best of luck
     
  3. thebighat

    thebighat

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    The reason is that whole mass of dough will continue to ferment until is is cooled off, and this activity may not leave enough push for shaped loaves to rise the next day. You'd be manhandling the dough the next day to shape them and the dough might not have enough left in it to recover and proof properly. I always retard shaped loaves, but recently I made a big batch of Reinhart's focaccia late in the work day and retarded the whole dough. It came out fine when shaped and baked. I've never done it with the barm though. Made Silverton's olive oil rosemary bread yesterday and today. Also baked a loaf of Reinhart's barm. Get more oven spring out of that, and also a more pronounced sour flavor, even though I'm using the same starter. I think it's because of the intermediate step of making that firm starter for the barm, whereas Silverton uses the starter as a primary leavener. There's more of a percentage of starter/sponge in the barm than there is in Silverton's bread.
     
  4. kylew

    kylew

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    I think I am missing something (big suprise!). If the activity of fermentationworks against the remaining level of push, for proofing shaped loaves, wouldn't cooling the dough sooner, and ending fermentation sooner, leave more push for the shaped loaves?
     
  5. thebighat

    thebighat

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    Now I'm not sure I understand. I think that shaping and then retarding gives a smaller unit of dough to cool off, thus slowing fermentation quicker, and then the remaining food in the dough will be available when the temp rekindles fermentation. A big wad of dough will stay warmer longer, and more food will be used up. But like I mentioned, when I tried putting a whole bowl of dough away, it made bread, twice.
     
  6. kylew

    kylew

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    I think the fog is starting to lift! Your mentioning smaller did it. It just might be that, even in the fridge, the larger mass of dough stays warmer longer than if you let it ferment at room temp for 3-4 hours and then shape and retard it. I have 2 firm starters ready to go for tomorrow. I think I might experiment. I am also going to try the Silverton White Country loaf again. BTW, I am about half way through The Bread Builders. What a great book. All theory and no recipes. The PH stuff you mentioned makes sense. Now all I have to do is figure out how to use temp to control it!

    [ July 26, 2001: Message edited by: KyleW ]
     
  7. thebighat

    thebighat

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    The temperature/growth graph in that book is interesting. You get fastest growth at very warm temps, something in the 90's. I've been using my starter a lot at work and it doubles in less than three hours now. A firm starter takes less than 4, but I still retard them. I've started building a brick oven loosely following those plans. I can't get involved with all that work of a foundation slab and 3 ft high walls, then that insulated slab, hearth slab,, my he does go on. I laid cinder blocks on the ground with the holes facing up. I plan on filling the voids with sand, then I bought some two in thick pavers to go over that, and then the firebrick hearth. that gives me over a foot of masonry and sand under the hearth. everything else will follow the book.
     
    heathe6100 likes this.
  8. kylew

    kylew

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    I guess the question is, how big is the flavor loss at higher temps.

    It sounds like he may be to oven building what Chef Silverton is to bread building. Let's hope the devil is not in the details :)
     
  9. angrychef

    angrychef

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    I'm no expert in breadmaking but do make focaccia almost daily. For our focaccias and garlic rolls that we do here at work, I make the dough the day before(right before I leave)with 2% fresh yeast and let it do it's slow fermentation in the cooler. Next day I punch it down, scale, round,bench rest, shape and proof. Never had a problem. I attended a class Peter Reinhart did while promoting Crust and Crumb and asked him if my method needed tweaking. He told me to lower the % of fresh yeast from 4% to 2% or even 1.5% and mix the dough with cold water so my finished dough would be a lot cooler and ferment slowly in the fridge. I find the dough easier to handle too.
    I just tried his poolish(day 2) and incorporated about 50%(in relation to flour in new dough) into my focaccia recipe. This I did not have to ferment overnight and it came out great. I'm still not sure how much poolish to use in a dough and how to correct the yeast percentage, but my little experiment produced good result. I've always been dissapointed in focaccias made with same day dough not using any kind of preferment.
     
  10. isaac

    isaac

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    hey again. i emailed my artisan bread baker i worked for and asked him that question. he said that you can bulk proof. he said that you just need to mix the bread and put it in the refriderator. then the next day, take it out and let it sit for an hour or two till it gets to room temp. then shape, proof and bake. he said that you might want to use less yeast since it will have a longer proof time (retarding). he said if u were using a pre ferment then you will have a more acidic dough which will cause red blisters o nthe crust. he said that is add more of an asthetic apeal to it.


    hopefully this helps.
     
  11. kylew

    kylew

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    Isaac- That's very helpful info! As we speak, the dough that had been in the fridge all day (since its initial mixing) is coming to room temp. As soon as I get finished with my olive bread a la La Brea, I am going to shape it. I hope to get it in the oven tonight. Thanks again!
     
  12. thebighat

    thebighat

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    I make Reinhart's focaccia a couple of times in week in about a 14 lb batch and it uses 100% preferment in the dough. I double the poolish on page 32 and use it all up. it's 64 oz h20, 36 oz bread flour, 1/2 tsp instant yeast. Minimum 3 hr ferment, then overnight it. The dough is all the poolish, 100 oz bread flour, 2 1/2 oz salt, 4 tb honey, 24 oz h20, 12 oz good olive oil,and 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast. 10 min mix, I think his focaccia formula just uses part of it. But look at the percentage. I think it's 100%. from what I can figure out, preferments are added at the rate of 20 to 100%. Maybe the thing to do to get the yeast right is to find formulas in that range and see what the percentage is. I use 1 1/2 tsp of instant for that batch of focaccia. The book is at work so I'll have to double check the percentage, but the range on that is going to be pretty low, I'd bet, maybe between .5% to 1.5%.
    About the Alan Scott oven- Reinhart told me that Alan Scott's ovens are everything a brick oven can be. There are plans in one of Bernard Clayton's books and if you can find the thread here where I mentioned the beer bread, the link to Bakershelper.Com has links to a bunch of brick oven and adobe oven pages.
     
  13. kylew

    kylew

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    Here are the % for Reinhart's Foccacia

    Unbleached Bread flour 100
    salt 2.5
    Instant Yeast 0.2
    Olive Oil 12.5
    honey 5.0
    Poolish 100
    Water 12.5

    Here's what in the works for me this evening.
    2 bagettes
    1 boule both bag and boule from all day fridge ferment.

    1 olive batard fron Ms. Silverman
    1 country boule from Ms. Silverman
    1 sourdough w/ 1/2 white 1/2 rye (Reinhart Starter)
    1 sourdough w/ 1/2 white, 1/4 rye, 1/4 wheat (Reinhart starter)

    [ July 27, 2001: Message edited by: KyleW ]
     
  14. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Whoa KyleW,

    It will be interesting to see the results. I look forward. BTW, did you return to class?

    :)
     
  15. isa

    isa

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    How big is your oven Kyle?? ;)
     
  16. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Oh he's going to be baking all night.

    Kyle mentioned somewhere he had an Easy-Bake Oven!

    :eek:
     
  17. kylew

    kylew

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    I do have an EasyBake Kitchen!

    Maybe not all nite Kimmie :)
     
  18. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Thanks for the visit, Kyle. I love it!
    You certainly need some organization, imagination and savoir-faire and not be overweight...btw, is that my orange colander I've just seen up there?

    Congrats, you are so resourceful!

    Pic on the top right is showing now!

    ;)

    [ July 28, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
     
  19. kylew

    kylew

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    I deleted the pic from my directory :eek:
    Haven't gotten around to putting it back :)

    Bagettes and boule are done! the rest are shaped and in the fridge for the night.
     
  20. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Kyle,

    Are you going to post those lovely breads? Did you eat them all before taking photographs?

    :p :p :p