14 Feb

Retarding: Keep the dough in a refrigerator.

My purpose of retarding the dough is to seek for pleasant sour  ( not sharp sour) and savory, and keeping moist in bread, thus, the dough should be in the condition when it is retarded.

  • When the bulk fermentation takes more than 6 hours. ( small amount of yeast or levain)

* I never had sour tastes in bread with instant yeast only.

This is how I retard my dough and bake:

  1. Leave the dough after shaping at the room temperature at 68-70F for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Put the dough in the refrigerator ( 43F/6℃) for 12 hours or overnight.
  3. Take the dough out from the refrigerator.
  4. Proof the dough at the room temperature from colder to warmer place ( 65-80F/ 18-27℃) for 2-4 hours until the dough is ready.

*In the summer, I proof the dough at the room temperature for  0-20 minutes after retarding because the dough more likely gets slappy.


Here are stories about the crumb and taste by retarding with good amount of yeast and levain, or active levain.

About crumb:  The breads tend to be dry.   This is the good example of the dry crumb.   I made  Pain au Levain with sourdough starter with fresh apple juice.

It rose too much in the refrigerator… The bulk fermentation was 4 hours.It was kind of dry crumb and too light. I see and taste kind of crumb at some bakeries.

I also had the experiment with croissants that I retarded for overnight.


About the taste:

 I have heard that we will have acetic acid ( sharp sour flavor) in bread if you retard it for overnight.  It is true, but it is not true,either.  This is depends on how much food remain in the dough while fermenting.   When you have enough food in the dough, your bread won’t be so sour.   The taste of  bread will be also totally different by the hydration of levain.

For fruit yeast water, we will have different kind of acids in your bread  from the yeast water that you use when you retard it for overnight. Here is the chart that you can take a look.  * Remember, you won’t get strong sour flavors as long as your dough has enough food . ( Slow rise = enough food)

You can click on the chart ↓to see in a large size.

More details about Acid Naturally in Fruit is here.

* Note: Papaya, pineapple, fig, mango and Kiwi  are not suitable to make yeast water because they contain a plenty of protease, which make dough very sticky  so that the crumb tend to be very wet.  You can read more details about protease here.

For sourdough, You will get acetic acid ( sharp sour flavor ) when you retard it for overnight, however, the acetic flavor will be vary depends on what kind of flour you use.  I like the kind of sour from rye flour, which is fruity and sour.

* Remember, you won’t get strong sour flavors as long as your dough has enough food.( Slow rise = enough food)


Warning:  Retarding a sandwich loaf

I never thought that  any retarded sandwich loaves are good because I tasted a sharp sour flavor before when I tried. That is because there are used a good portion of  levain, therefore, it gets acetic in the process of high speed fermentation even it is in the refrigerator.

Although I found out that I can make flavorful bread, which has a little bit of mild sour with apple yeast water.  (I will post about apple yeast water later. I am still working on this until I post .  )   It started by my failure, my 9th day apple yeast water is too slow to rise to make a sandwich loaf.


  • 10 hours for the bulk fermentation.
  • Final proof.. 2.5 hours at the room temperature around 80F, retarding for 10 hours in the refrigerator, and real final proof for 5 hours at 65F to 78F.  It took so long until baked.

It rose quite well in the oven..

The crumb is more yellowish in real. Surprisingly sweet and mild sour like after eating an apple.

I taste the bread like this..

  Then  I retarded a sesame sandwich loaf with the same apple yeast water, which was still slow to rise.

……Before baking / cold oven….

Bulk fermentation: 9 .5 hours.

Final proof: 2 hours at the room temperature, Retarding for overnight ( 10 hours), final proof at the room temperature at 65F-78F for 4 hours.

 I am sorry that I forgot to take the picture of the sesame loaf. It rose quite well as much as the 9th sandwich loaf  with apple yeast water.

The taste was extremely sour and the flavor doesn’t match with sesame seeds….  I wonder if  that is from the sesame seeds because sesame seeds contain a lot of protein and ash ?

 I have to pay attention what kind of ingredients I add when I retard doughs from now on..

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Koubo by Akiko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Retarding


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6 responses to “Retarding

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    • Akiko

      March 7, 2012 at 2:15 am

      Hi Donna,
      Thank you for your consideration. I rather spend more time for my family and baking project instead of it though…


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    March 17, 2012 at 6:59 am

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    • Akiko

      March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Eimear Gobshite,
      That a great quote. The day would run me if my blog were a job to make money.


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