September 21, 2022 - 6:48pm
When my starter peaks but I'm not ready to mix my dough yet, can I put the starter in the fridge for about 8-10 hrs then mix my dough? Will I have to bring it back to room temp before I mix?
A small portion of starter to build a levain, or are you making all the starter for the dough and then refrigerating it? I think you can use it either way. If you are using the full starter amount and mix it straight from the fridge, you'll have to adjust bulk fermentation times to allow for the drop in dough temp after mixing (or use warm water to compensate for the cold starter).
All the starter for the dough. I have all the time in the world to bulk because I'm mixing my dough at 8am then doing my stretch and folds then won't get home til about 8pm to shape it then cold retard. The formula asks for 8-10 hr for the bulk with ingredients at room temp. I'm assuming , so over 10 hrs bulk with a cold starter should be fine you think? I don't really watch the clock. I do loosely, but I usually wait for the dough to double. I would prefer to have a colder dough temp. to have more room for error in case it over ferments so I don't think I'd use warm water to compensate for the cold starter.
I also put the starter in the fridge when i think it hasn't quite peaked yet, that way it can finish peaking in the fridge as the temp. drops.
Thanks so much for your input.
Sounds like a good plan. Let us know how it goes!
Shoot, it's almost 9:30 and it still hasn't doubled. the dough was only about 19c. I put it in the toaster oven with a proof setting. I hope it gets there. What if it doesn't
If my levain has peaked before I am ready to add it to the dough mix, I will put it in the fridge until I’m ready for it. Then I’ll add it hours or half a day later while it is cold right into the dough mix. I might use warmer water than usual for the dough mix to compensate for the cold levain’s effect on cooling the dough but most of the time I don’t worry about it.
Thanks Benny. I didn't use warm water, just room temperature water but I found it more difficult to judge when bulk was done when I used the starter cold. Another newbie type question is, Is it possible that dough can bulk ferment unevenly. Like part of it will be slightly overfermented?
I forgot to say, my starter lives in the fridge week to week between feedings and I always use it cold to build a levain.
It is hard to imagine that a dough would ferment unevenly, however, never say never. If a dough was prepared with an autolyse and the levain added after the autolyse and wasn’t thoroughly mixed, then I suppose it might be possible for the dough to ferment unevenly. There would need to be areas of the dough that didn’t get levain mixed into it and other areas of the dough with higher densities of levain. That is one situation where I think it is possible.
If your sourdough/levain has peaked and you’re not ready to bake, putting it back in the fridge is not an option. ‘Peaking’ means it’s consumed about all the available sugars in the flour, so the yeast is headed downward to starvation from that point onward. Better to discard a portion, refresh it with equal weights flour and water and leave it out overnight for next day.
So putting it in the fridge after it peaks wouldn't slow down its activity for a short amount of time, just to buy a few hours?
to speed up timing. Just run a site search: microwave proofing and read the four or five emtries.