retarding dough and going to bed




I am making my first loaves of whole wheat sourdough with a nice fresh active rye starter. I am using freshly ground organic whole wheat flour which I think is rather special. Anyway, I have made my dough and have it sitting in a warm place, for 1.5 hours now. Trouble is, I do not want to be up all night, I am one tired mumma. What should I do.. can I retard the dough at this stage?

It is too late to expect anyone to be answering my questions, but I live in hope.. if no one is about, this is what I am going to do.

I am going to wait another 30 mins and have a nice long shower and wash my hair,  then knead the dough, and put it back in its bowl and put it outside in the cold overnight ( it will be about 2 degrees Celcius tonight, maybe a little less ) and go to bed.

Now, when I get up tomorrow morning and continue- what should I do?

I would love some answers, I would love the bread to be edible and I would really hate to have to start again ( mostly because of the expense- the process is fun though! ).

Next time though, I will figure out the best time to start making bread.



226 users have voted.


Christine F 2012 September 15

You're probably tucked up in bed now! However, although I've not done this myself so far, I have read that dough can be proved in the fridge for some hours, then brought back to room temperature & continue as normal with no adverse effects. It is high temps that kills off the yeastie beasties, isn't it?

I'm a relative newcomer to sourdough & am discovering that it seems to be somewhat forgiving of callously chilly treatment. I arrived back home yesterday after almost 3 weeks away, hoping that my month-old sourdough starter would have survived in the fridge. So far it looks good; I've just given a 3rd feeding ready for the big test of making a loaf. Good luck with yours.

navylark 2012 September 15
Hi I've retarded my dough before in the fridge so its ready for first thing in the morning. sometimes I even bake it straight out of the fridge if I haven't got time to wait for it to warm up. The bread still baked fine, maybe next time you can try this method and get an early night with dough ready to bake first thing in the morning. Cheers nick
chazzone 2012 November 23

Not sure why I'm just getting this, but I hope your bread came out fine.  I have become a devotee of the cold proof, and nearly everything I bake now gets at least 1 night in the fridge or outside if the temp is apprpriate, 3 days is the average, and 5 days in the cold is common.

I just finished my first sourdough cinnamon rolls of the season, and those got 2 days in the fridge.

My particular starter seems to love the cold, and sometimes, I have to shorten the proofing time I had originally planned for, because it grows right out of the bowl.

Depending on the stage it's at when I put it in the cold, I'll typically let it warm up for about half the usual doubling time before I put it in to bake.  This is typically about 3 hours, but I have baked right out of the cold and had good results, too.

Good baking,




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