February 3, 2023 - 2:50am
Retarded Bulk Ferment Temperature
I have a small refrigerator that I can control the temperature in. I'm experimenting with using different temperatures for the retarded bulk ferment to add some more flavor to the bread. I'm curious what temperatures others use for this process and the times for fermenting. I've read that for a 12-18 hr ferment, an optimum temperature is about 45-49 degrees F, (7.2 - 9.4 C). Does this sound about right?
I'm using a yeasted dough, so this may not apply to you. I do a 15 hour cold bulk ferment, degassing twice during that period. Temperature of the 'fridge is 40° F (about 4.5 ° C).
Yes, the yeast in a yeasted dough would be a different strain from sourdough, so it probably would react differently to temperature.
Interesting though. Does the long ferment change the flavor profile much for the yeasted bread?
I'm also using a yeasted pre-ferment. The flavor profile is very slightly acidic with a more pronounced wheat flavor than the same day loaves I made a few years ago. The keeping quality of the bread is also extended by the increased acidity. Another thing to note is the yeast percentage in my formulas is usually 0.75 to 0.80.
I was a sourdough baker for 40 years or so, starting in the early 1970s. About 10 years ago when I retired (self employed, working from my home) I found myself drifting toward commercial yeast for the simplicity of timing. I became much more active outside the home. The last thing to go was my rye sour and rye is probably the only bread I make that is not of the same caliber as my previous loaves.
Could you perhaps give some tips or a recipe on using commercial yeast. I've tried baking loaves with IDY but the crumb is always so tight and the product is far inferior to my sourdough loaves. I have experimented with preferments and long bulk fermentation in the fridge, even combined them. However, the resulting loaves are never what I desire crumb wise, even if the outward appearance is nice, with a good oven expansion and ear.
The recommended final fermentation retard temperature for Hamelman's Vermont sourdough is "retard for up to 8 hours at 10C, or up to 18 hours at 4.5C."
I don't retard bulk fermentation.
Thanks gavinc. I'll give a retarded final ferment a try.