Sleeping with the Dough

At the moment I’m making sour dough bread. This is a six to nine day process and I’ll blog about the whole when I’m done.  However today I just wanted to talk about Day Four: Feeding the Ferment

Day Four involves taking some of the ferment and making the first proper dough. The whole recipe is very specific about temperatures, but Day Four is particularly vehement. The dough must be set aside for at least 12 hours at no less the 24 degrees.

I was a bit worried about this.  It’s spring in Perth,  but it’s not super hot.  How would it go overnight?  I couldn’t think of any inherently warm places in my house so I did the only thing I could think of – I took the bowl to bed with me under the covers. Now,  I’m not sure how much the bread has benefited from my body heat – it was a little bit away from me cos the bowl was hard – and cold! And at this point I still rate my own wellbeing higher. However, it doesn’t seemed to have harmed it. Today the dough will spend time outside on the back porch in the sun (don’t worry, it’s nicely covered with plastic) and that should guarantee that it remains above 24 degrees. From tonight it’ll be in the fridge for the final step.  If all goes well I should be able to report some time on the weekend as to how it all went.


10 thoughts on “Sleeping with the Dough

  1. Grab a thermometer and see how the temp is in the oven with the light on but not the heat – this is how I do the final rise on my no-knead bread. If it’s too warm, try putting the light on for a while then turning it off and putting the bread in. An oven should be a great insulator. Another option could be an electric heating pad, or the electric belts used for homebrewing.

  2. Next time I’d recommend putting it to bed in the microwave with a cup of boiling water or two. That should keep it close to warm enough overnight without the cold bowl in bed with you! That’s how I get my bread to rise when I’m doing oven baking (the microwave trick, not the bed!)

  3. Oooh! Good ideas!

    Not sure I have a light (have a gas oven) but I will check when I get home.

    And I also have a heating pad for home brewing – it’s just at my parents house, not mine. (They have more space for brewing 🙂

  4. I didn’t know you were a brewer, KL! I’ve been known to bottle up some ginger beer or cider in my time… although most of the bits and bobs got ditched in various moves, I still have a small half-sized fermenting drum. And the warming belt! 🙂

  5. Yeah – I’ve made up the odd brew (some *very* odd). Actually I had a really good system for a while where i’d make a batch up whenever I was visiting Perth from the UK. By the time I came back again, it was well and truly ready to drink! Haven’t done any since I got back, though. However it *would* be nice to have something to drink over summer…


  6. Yeah, ginger beer! I do it the easy way though – get a tin from the brewing shop! (Then dilute to the right amount, leave it in the drum for the right amount (hopefully not leaving the big plastic spoon in it – one brew was called “Big Spoon Ginger Beer” for that reason) and bottle.)

    Not too bad 🙂

  7. Cool! Mum tells me about making lemon beer for Dad – lemons, water, sugar, in a bucket in the back shed! I need more convenience than that!

    I have made apple cider from scratch though – from 10kg pink lady apples. NEVER doing that again. It took forever to juice them, and was a waste of beautiful, perfectly ripe *pink* pink ladies. The juice oxidised because it took so long to juice and the cider just didn’t turn out well at all.

    The best cider we’ve made was from Harvey Fresh apple juice – no added sugar, no preservatives, but I don’t know if they still are. Then we added a sachet of champagne yeast, left it for 2 weeks and bottled! Perfect! Of course we haven’t ever been able to replicate the taste, even with the same process… sigh! That has produced the best cider consistently though.

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