Oh dear, my starter/dough hates the hot weather!


Well, the warm weather has arrived, it's been a bit stormy this week too, so I guess it's been a bit humid...and my smooth sailing bread making has hit a hurdle. 

I haven't changed anything but my last 2 loaves have come out quite flat, without much oven spring. I usually get bursting out the top even after 2 days in the fridge. They still taste fab though. 

Would it be better to experiment with shorter development times? I usually mix, leave for 30 minutes, then do 3 short kneads 10 minutes apart, then a stretch and fold every hour for 3 hours, then shape and pop in the fridge overnight.

Or should I not leave the starter for so long before using it? I usually feed it in the evening and use it in the morning. I have noticed the last few times I have used it that it has seemed more runny than usual, I thought it was probably due to the warmer weather but didn't think it was much of a drama.




100 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 December 16

Hello Maree,

Sounds like over-proving to me.  Things don't stop in the fridge due to the time that it takes for the coolth to penetrate and even at low temp things still keep happening.  So at warm temps, four hours before fridging is probably a bit long.

I suggest shortening the times before and between S&F's with maybe no more than 2 hours before fridging.  Or even fridging between S&Fs.  The other thing to try would be to work through at RT just to get a gauge on how fast things really are happening.  You might only need four hours all up and I usually work on about half the time for dough development and bulk proving and half for final proving of the loaf.

Don't be afraid to experiment, it will all be edible, just not pretty perhaps.

Good luck with your projects.


Moohie 2012 December 16

Thanks so much Farinam, I appreciate your response.

Now that you mention it, before the final shaping the dough did seem 'puffy' and bigger than usual, it has usually got air in it, but it's not puffy or so big , so over-proving does seem like the problem doesn't it. I will definitely try shortening the times up and hopefully that'll do the trick. 

I have never actually worked at RT for the whole process, I always do the overnight in the fridge thing. I really should try to experiment some more instead of just doing the same thing over and over. 

I have branched out a little and started making flat bread, which I just spread with garlic and olive oil before I bake. My daughter LOVES them, they really are rather tasty. 

Thanks again,


petanque 2012 December 16

I would agree that it sounds like over proving.


Also many fridges will run warmer in hot weather because the have more heat load.



Alvaremj's picture
Alvaremj 2012 December 17

I agree as well. I use a bulk proof as well but try to get it in the fridge after the first fold or when it looks like the dough has started to ferment. I use the overnight in the fridge for the bulk then final proof on the counter and have had some great and consistant results. Of course once you find a good rhythem the seasons change and you have to adjust. 

Happy baking!


Post Reply

Already a member? Login