to retard or not to retard ...


Hi All -

I have been using an overnight retard in a domestic fridge a few time lately, but the dough, kept in a banneton and a sealed plastic bag, collapses somewhat in the centre. The oven-spring is also less than would have been the case without using the overnight retard of 12 hours at a temperature of around 6C.


I have read that overnight retards could even be stretched out to 24 to 30 hours and therefore feel that the reason for the collapse of the dough must be related to something else. What could the reason possibly be? Too warm ...?


Help and suggestions, as always, greatly appreciated.


162 users have voted, including you.


farinam's picture
farinam 2011 June 8

Hello Eberhard

I assume your retarding is started immediately after shaping.

Collapsing dough and lack of oven spring sounds like over-proofing to me (but could be wrong in my limited experience).  So, if you are retarding immediately after shaping, then perhaps you could consider shortening your bulk proof time.  Warmer room temperatures (eg coming into summer) will require some adjustment in this direction just as cooler room temperatures will require longer proof times.

Generally retarding is only necessary if you need more control over the timing of the bake such as for work/social reasons.  There is some suggestion of flavour improvement after retarding but I wouldn't think that should be a driving force to adopt the practice.

Hope this helps and keep on bakin'


Post Reply

Already a member? Login