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What's the harm in letting your dough rise for too long?

easyonthesalt Oct 13, 2010 08:47 PM

I've been struck with a midnight craving for some warm, fresh crusty bread slathered in butter.

I was going to go mix a quick, no-knead dough, let it rise overnight in the fridge and bake in the morning but of course the recipe only calls for a 90 minute refrigerated rise. Unfortunately there's no way I can stay awake long enough for a rise, proof and bake right now, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to satisfy my bread craving.

Is there any harm in letting it rise overnight so I can proof and bake first thing in the morning?

Maybe you have a few good recipes that would allow an overnight rise? and why don't I ever get these baking urges at a reasonable hour?!

  1. AndrewK512 Oct 13, 2010 08:49 PM

    The dough should probably be fine overnight in the fridge. The issue would be if you left it out at room temperature for too long. Eventually the dough loses it's structure and ability to hold air pockets and just collapses into this sticky gluey mess.

    1. j
      jaykayen Oct 13, 2010 08:50 PM

      what is a quick no-knead?

      Regular no-knead is usually an overnight rise, then a 2 hr+ proof, then bake.

      1. l
        L987 Oct 14, 2010 09:44 AM

        u can always take a bit less yeast if u want your dough to rise longer.. but if its in the fridge overnight its probably ok as it is.

        1. o
          OldTimer Oct 14, 2010 11:34 AM

          You sound like a prime candidate for a bread machine...some you can set 24 hours ahead.

          4 Replies
          1. re: OldTimer
            gmm Oct 15, 2010 10:42 AM

            I'm not a fan of bread machines, but I was curious and tried out my mom's while visiting. Put everything in the machine before I went to sleep, and set it to be done around 8 the next morning. There is nothing quite like waking up to the whole house smelling of freshly baked bread.

            1. re: gmm
              Indirect Heat Oct 15, 2010 07:29 PM

              About the only good thing I can say about bread machines is that they make very symmetrical bread.

              On the other hand, no-knead bread is very little effort, and the rise time is good and long. I start them at bedtime, let them rise 20+ hours until I come home from work the next day, proof, and bake. Yum.


              1. re: Indirect Heat
                gmm Oct 18, 2010 10:55 AM

                RE: bread machines -I agree completely. Not sure if it's just this particular model, but the crust comes out much too thick and most of the time you have to pry the little paddle out of the bottom of the loaf leaving a nice big hole in the middle.

                1. re: gmm
                  OldTimer Oct 18, 2010 11:23 AM

                  Many of the newer machines have setings for crust color, and a pause button so you can remove the paddle before the last rise.

          2. PattiCakes Oct 14, 2010 11:59 AM

            Go get the book Artisan Bread ion 5 Minutes a Day. Make a batch of dough, stick it in the fridge, then cut off lumps to bake as you need them -- stays in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

            2 Replies
            1. re: PattiCakes
              easyonthesalt Oct 16, 2010 12:24 PM

              Will do! I saw this while perusing cookbooks two weeks ago sort of snorted at the title and kept walking. It seemed too ridiculous to be true so I didn't even grab it to take a look. Dough that lasts up to two weeks? Fresh bread daily? I could fall in love with that book!

              1. re: easyonthesalt
                PattiCakes Oct 18, 2010 09:24 AM

                It's true!!! I made a batch weekend before last & have been pulling chunks off all week to bake. Made a great pizza on Friday night. You don't even need to make a big loaf -- you can just do a couple of luittle ones if that's all you need for dinner. It's so easy it's ridiculous,.

            2. amokscience Oct 15, 2010 07:56 AM

              Most doughs can go through 1-3 days of refrigeration and be fine - often it's even desirable and gives a more complex flavor.

              If you go really long (5+ days) the fermentation will turn very acidic and sour and can make an unpleasant product. The yeast will also die and result in no lift.

              1. monavano Oct 15, 2010 08:04 AM

                This is such a great topic in general. I make NKB and have proofed it in an oven for too long, and at too high a temp (put the oven light on) and it didn't rise very much. I found out about over-proofing her on CH.
                Great insight.

                1. ipsedixit Oct 15, 2010 10:29 AM

                  Allowing a dough to rise "too long" (whatever that may be), allows the dough to ferment, which makes it sort of acidic and creates a sort of "sour" tasting bread.

                  Nothing necessarily wrong or harmful with that, but it's not something necessarily desireable in all instances.

                  Making basic bread? Not a good thing.
                  Making a sourdough type bread? Sure, why not.

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