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Storing bread dough to cook the next day?

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I made ciabatta dough in my bread machine to bake tonight, but it turns out I can't. I was thinking I'd shape the dough and place it on the baking sheet, cover it with a damp cloth and stick it in the fridge overnight. My hope was this would allow it to rise, but more slowly, and then I could just bring it to room temp tomorrow and bake it.... is this right? Or will I need to let it rise at room temp tomorrow anyway?

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  1. Yes, you can and it'll have better taste/texture for it. I let it sit until it comes to room temperature, about half an hour but that depends on the size of the dough.

    1. You certainly can stick it in the fridge overnight. In fact, it comes out better that way, with a more complex flavor than you get with a faster countertop rise. I'd take it out of the fridge about 45 minutes before you plan to bake it to take the chill off (you'll get better oven spring with room temperature dough), but other than that you're good to go.

      1. Great, thank you both so much for your quick and informative replies!

        1. I am far from an expert, but Jacques Pepin IS, and his easy no knead bread in a pot goes from an overnight in the fridge straight into the oven, so apparently you can do it either way.