You can manipulate the sourness of the bread with a longer rise time. A 24-hour rise time will produce much more sour bread than a 4-hour rise time. If using a shorter rise period, 4-12 hours, a second rise is optional.
YES! You most definitely can bulk ferment sourdough too long. If you leave the dough to ferment for too long, it will become "over fermented". Over fermented dough will lose its structure and become a soupy, sloppy mess that you will not be able to shape.
You can absolutely leave sourdough bread to rise overnight - but as always - there are some things you'll need to do to make sure that your bread is successful with an overnight ferment.
The dough is ready when it has doubled in size and no longer looks dense. This can take anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on your current room temperature, the potency of your sourdough starter and the specifics of your surrounding environment.
Can I leave my bread to rise overnight? Yes, you can let your bread rise overnight in the fridge. Keep in mind, though, you'll want the dough to come back up to room temperature before baking.
The dough should generally be proofed for around 1 to 4 hours at a warm temperature or overnight (or more) at a cold refrigerator temperature. As the proofing temperature increases, the total fermentation time will decrease.
While underworked dough can simply be fixed by a little more kneading, severely overworked dough cannot be fixed. Instead, the overworked dough will result in a hard loaf that will likely not be eaten. It's important not to overwork your dough and continually check for overworking throughout the kneading process.
Overproofed is when the dough has rested too long and the yeast has continued making carbon dioxide while the strength of the dough (gluten bonds) have begun to wear out. The dough will look very puffy, but when you touch it or move it you may notice it deflate or sag.
The good news: We found an easy way to rescue overproofed dough. Simply punch it down gently, reshape it, and let it proof again for the recommended amount of time. In the test kitchen, these steps resulted in bread that tasters found acceptable in both texture and flavor.
A 24-hour rise time will produce much more sour bread than a 4-hour rise time. If using a shorter rise period, 4-12 hours, a second rise is optional. If desired, punch dough down, reshape, and proof a second time.
Absolutely you can overcook sourdough bread. Just like yeasted bread, sourdough bread can be left in the oven too long. Overcooked sourdough bread will have a very hard, crunchy crust that is difficult to cut and bit through. The interior of overcooked sourdough bread will be drier than it should be.
The dough poke test is a technique performed during the proofing step of the bread-making process that helps you determine when your sourdough bread dough is ready to bake. Gently press your finger into the dough on the top. If the dough springs back quickly, it's underproofed.
Properly proofed dough will be much more consistent in structure, with a soft and fluffy interior, and larger, but more evenly dispersed air bubbles present in the crumb. Over proofed bread is likely to have a very open crumb structure, due to the development of excess CO2 during the proofing stage.
You must discard some of your sourdough starter each time you feed it. You'll discover that discarding is necessary to build a healthy and thriving sourdough starter - but it's not actually as wasteful as you might think.
Stretching and folding is what replaces kneading in many sourdough recipes. Stretching and folding helps activate the gluten in wheat flour, making it easier to work with and shape. If you skip stretching and folding, chances are you will end up with soggy dough that doesn't hold its shape before or during baking.
You don't have to waste flour on a daily basis if you want to maintain a sourdough starter. By adjusting how much you feed your starter and by choosing recipes that rely on discard, you don't have to throw your discard in the trash every day.
When can I refrigerate my dough? Most bread recipes have two rises, a first rise (also called bulk fermentation), and a second or final rise. You can chill your dough during either the first or second rise.
Using the refrigerator is super useful, but you can skip it. Sometimes you just want to bake your sourdough! You'll need enough time after shaping for the dough to rise again (1 1/2 to 2 hours) and bake (45 mins).
If you desire an extra-sour sourdough loaf, cover it and refrigerate immediately. The dough will rise slowly overnight or up to 24 hours. Allowing the dough to remain longer in the refrigerator isn't beneficial, as an extended time in the refrigerator will lead to off flavors and diminished dough strength.
Your dough can become sticky when you add too much water or the flour isn't suitable for the type of dough you are making. Over proofing or fermenting the dough can also result in the gluten structure weakening causing sticky dough.
High temperatures can cause premature over fermentation, which will result in wet, sticky sourdough. You need to make sure that you keep your kitchen at a temperature between 24C - 28C (75F-82F). Alternatively, you'll need to adjust the amount of starter in your dough to suit the temperature of your kitchen.
Dough appearance should no longer be rough after sourdough bulk fermentation. It should be smooth looking and even a bit shiny. If you lift up a section, it should move together.
You really only need to handle sourdough minimally. Each set of stretch and folds should consist of 4 stretches and folds. You should aim to do around 4 to 6 sets, but you may need less depending on the dough strength.