Having the time to make sourdough


I'm having trouble organising my day regarding making sourdough bread!

Perhaps this sounds a little daft but I can't work out how to bake when I'm out at work all day.  One recipe wanted 5 hours then 10-13 hours then 5-6 hours resting before the final bake!  Try working that around a busy working day!

This is why I love soda bread.  It's quick and easy and can be made in an instant.  However I love sourdough and would really love to get into some routine with baking it.  Currently I'm adding yeast to my first mix along with my starter in order to speed up the process but I feel that this is at the detriment of flavour.

How do others plan their baking lives?  I'd be very grateful for some pointers.


126 users have voted.


Alison1 2012 October 9
Good question, I am finding the same problem. I am tempted to perhaps raise the loaf in the fridge to slow it down so I can bake it when it suits me. Although timing that seems like it will take some thinking. I have a bread machine but the loaf isn't as nice, the crust is too thick so I don't want to use that, I also love kneading and shaping so don't like that taken away... Alison
farinam's picture
farinam 2012 October 9

Hi Scu8a8uddy,

SourDom's beginners blogs on this site give a few guide-lines for controlling fermenting and proving to suit your schedule.

Another option would be to fit it into your week-end (with or without retardation).  The longest involvement is if you use stretch and fold or progressive kneading and even that still leaves time for other things in between.

I would suggest that you try working on the weekend to start with to develop your own time-line (those published by others are really only a guide).  Once you know what time frames you are looking at, you can then experiment with retardation at various stages and from there you can work out a schedule that might fit with mid-week baking.

The ultimate result might be something like (and this is only a suggestion of a possibility).  In the morning, start your levain.  Early evening, prepare dough, develop dough and late evening shape loaf.  Place in sealable wrap (large zip-lock vacuum storage packs seem to work OK) and place in fridge.  Next evening - bake.

Hope this helps a little.

Good luck with your projects.


Scu8a8uddy 2012 October 9

Thanks for the reply farinam.

You've taken some of the complexity out of things and make it a little simpler.  I guess that I'm the kind of person that likes to follow instructions exactly to the letter. I've never been one to stray from a recipe and can never cook by making things up as I go along out of what's in the fridge.  This is how I like to do my bread making but I guess that I need to chill a little and be prepared to fail sometimes!!!!  (which isn't in my blood!)

On reflection I need to experiment with my breadmaking to know when dough has risen enough or too much etc.  Then I'll be able to bake from experience to suit my lifestyle rather than from following instructions to the letter.

(I'm getting palpitations just thinking about it  LOL)

Thanks once again.


Scu8a8uddy 2012 October 10

Hey! Who'd have thought it!

I've just made SourDom's Sourdough Bagels, I only bulk proved for an hour insted of 3-4 and only left 2 hours after shaping (instead of leving overnight in the fridge) and who'd have thought - they're great!

I don't even like bagels and these are fantastic! The shaping could have been better but as a first attempt, I'm impressed (Even if I say so myself.)

It just goes to show (to me anyway) that timing's are a guide but not an absolute!

Post Reply

Already a member? Login