Knowing how to bake bread at home is surely enjoyable and is a worthwhile hobby.However, this is also a time consuming process and dealing with bread dough is delicate, which is why you need to be very careful with it.
But nonetheless, you’ll surely find yourself in a situation when your dough has already risen and you don’t have any time to continue with it and finish it on that same day or time.Because of this, you are most likely going to ask if it’s alright to put bread dough in the fridge even after it rises. The short answer to that is yes.
You can definitely put bread dough in the refrigerator even after it has already risen. In fact, refrigerating bread dough can improve your dough’s taste in many situations. Just see to it that you keep the dough inside a sealed container or inside a bowl that has a plastic wrap on top.But then again, it’s not as simple as that. You need to instead consider many different things and factors to make sure that you are still going to have a nice bake.
What happens to bread dough when refrigerated?
Your dough will start to rise once it begins to proof. This happens until you start baking it. But stil, yeast is in its most active state if it is in a warm environment and temperature. This means that your dough’s expansion will vastly decrease if you are going to place it in the fridge.
But this also does not mean that you are stopping the rising process. What is happening here is just that the dough will still continue to expand, but just at a slower rate.
You also have to be more observant on your dough because your bread can crack and dry out if it is left in the refrigerator for a long time. Also be sure to properly prepare the dough if you are going to place it in the fridge. You can do this by sealing it inside a sealed and airtight container.
What are the best ways to refrigerate bread dough?
1. Refrigerate immediately
The refrigeration process is a slow process, but it is best if you immediately refrigerate the dough as soon as possible.
Note that the process becomes much harder if the yeast becomes warm. And the moment that you realize you can’t bake the dough on that specific time, it’s best that you immediately place it in the fridge as fast as you can so that it won’t naturally cool down.
What you want is to cool it inside the fridge while it’s still warm.
2. Coat with oil
We also recommend that you coat the container with oil. You want to do this to avoid the dough sticking to your container.
Why? Well, because this can lead to tearing and stretching which can damage your dough. Good thing that it’s easy to avoid. Simply coat the container with oil, or if you’d like, use another non-stick substance.
3. Ensure an airtight container
Another thing you need to consider is to make sure that you have an airtight container. This is because if it’s not airtight, there is a high chance that the dough will dry out and its edges will slowly crack.
You surely don’t want to experience this. You can, however, avoid this by putting your dough into an airtight ziplock bag. You can also get a plastic wrap and place it on a bowl. Make sure to double check the container if it’s completely sealed before you set it in the refrigerator.
4. Natural warming
The next thing you should consider is to let your dough warm back up naturally before you start baking. Make sure that it’s warm enough that it is in the room temperature measurement. Never bake cold dough because this will just damage the texture.
When you are ready to bake, you can then leave the dough until it is already at room temperature. If it’s already not that cold and if it’s warm enough based on your observation, then you can put it inside the oven.
How long can I refrigerate risen bread dough?
There is really no limit as to how long you can leave your risen dough in the fridge. You have to keep in mind, though, that refrigeration would not stop the dough from rising.
It just slows the rising process. It will also gradually slow down throughout the entire time that it is left in the fridge.
This is why we do not recommend that you leave your bread dough in the fridge for more than three days because this can lead to cracks and can make the overall quality and texture of the dough lower.
What’s even better is that you don’t make it stay in the fridge for more than two days if you can. What you want to avoid here is over-proofing, which can be avoided by just leaving it for a maximum of 24 hours for optimal results.
Is it alright to refrigerate bread dough after the second rise?
Yes, it is alright to refrigerate dough even after its first rise. But we don’t recommend that you refrigerate it after the second rise because the texture will just be damaged and it can lead to a low quality bake.
But don’t worry too much because this won’t mean that your bread dough will be inedible. It’s just going to be a low quality bake.
And if you’re prepared to only bake half of your dough and bake the remaining tomorrow, then we suggest you remove half of it and return the remaining section to the refrigerator. Also, ensure that the container is sealed tightly.
Having your dough after it has risen is a bit risky. But this doesn’t have to be a huge problem as long as you just leave it there for a maximum of two days.
Or even much better, just one day. Also, make sure to place it in an airtight bag with a container that is lightly oiled so that the dough won’t stick to the surface of the container and get torn apart later on.
This prevents sticking and cracking. Refrigeration doesn’t stop the rising process, but it just slows it down dramatically. Just remember the tips we have mentioned in this article, and you’ll surely have a sumptuous bake later.
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