Sourdough bread temperature for bulk fermentation

Joined Dec 1, 2015
My sourdough has been doing ok but I have a cold kitchen and the fermentation takes forever.

I started using Jeffrey Hamelman's formula for desired dough temperature (DDT).

After mixing, the dough is a perfect 78-80 F and finishes in 3-4 hours, which I think is a better time for a milder sourdough.

I use a DDT of 78-80 and a friction factor of 5 (for kneading by hand). My water temp turns out to be about 110 F and the end temperature is spot on.
Joined Jan 8, 2010
I do not really check the temperatures.
I generally have the opposite problem to you. It's too hot, so I basically decrease the bulk fermentation out of the fridge and increase the time inside the fridge
Joined May 5, 2010
I too have a cool kitchen but I use it to my advantage. I go several days without baking bread around here, so after I feed the starter, I'll leave it out on the counter for 1 day, then I put it in the fridge. There is lays dormant, until I take it out several days later. I leave it out for half a day, feed it then bake the next day.
Joined Mar 4, 2015
Sourdough is a bit different than your normal yeasted dough in that it uses natural yeast in your starter. That starter has all sorts of things that contribute to how strong the gluten in your dough is, the flavor, and the leavening. Much different than a yeasted dinner roll where the commercial yeast needs a temp from 81-100 degrees F for optimal fermentation. ( not the temp right out of the mixer)

For sourdough, the longer you ferment the dough, and to an extent the sour, the more flavor you are going to get out of that dough. I think the benefits of cold fermentation are far superior to the recipes that call for mixing the dough and leaving it out overnight to proof on the counter, or using a proof box.

Baking from cold fermentation also yeilds ( in my experience) better oven spring and a more open crumb.

Naturally leavened dough also does not need to be kneaded quite like other bread dough. An autolyse can be used to help you flour fully absorb the water and kick start some enzymatic activity helping with dough elasticity and gas retention in your dough to make the effort of keeping that sour culture active and bubbly worthwhile.
Joined Aug 4, 2000
+ + + 1 ^ ^ ^

Fwiw I leave my poolish in the warmish oven with the light turned on, overnight for up to eighteen hours prior to mixing with the remaining ingredients. I know I know poolish versus sourdough. I just wanted to offer an alternate approach.

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