Final proofing: fridge vs counter

The long story short is; final proofing in the fridge will take longer but will develop better flavors in the bread. The counter means a shorter proofing time and less flavor development. Here is what I prefer:

The fridge. Post over, right? Not so fast.

When allowing bread to proof on the counter usually that process will take 3-4 hours. This time will vary based on the temperature of your kitchen, water temp, flour used, etc. 3-4 is what is consistent with my variables.

I just do not like baking with a tight schedule. 3-4 hours seems like a long time and it can be but I don’t want to interrupt my life because the baby (dough) at home needs something. I like baking on my time and the fridge allows for this.

Yeast is more active in warm weather. You can never fully stop yeast activity – only slow it down. The fridge slows it down and gives you more freedom in your baking schedule.

My preferred time is 12-18 hours. I have had success in waiting up to 24 hours but I have also experiences a loaf that has filled with too much air and is degassed when being moved into the oven. Remember losing air is a bad thing.

So experiment with timing but opt for the fridge.

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