I've been baking sourdough for a couple of months now, and some of the loaves turned out fantastically well, so I am rather encouraged.
However, whenever I have been trying to fridge-retard bread in the final stage of proofing, it turns out a lot flatter, with no/hardly any oven spring.
This has happened several times so far. Anytime I proof at room temperature, it's fine. Anytime I retard in fridge, it's deflated. Anytime I make a batch of two loaves and proof one at room temp and one in the fridge overnight, the first (room temp) comes out fine, and the fridge one is flattish and lacking oven spring. The flavor and crumb is typically good in both, the crust is crunchy and has good color, and I have no idea what is actually going wrong.
My typical baking cycle is: some sort of sourdough - either a levain-based one, or a direct-added starter one. Bulk proofing at room temperature for 3-4 hours (until roughly doubled), then pre-shaping and proofing in towel-lined colander, and the latest in my new banetton. Invert onto sheet of parchment, place that in preheated dutch oven, shut with preheated lid. 20 min with lid on, 15 with lid off.
The fridge-retardation problem happened with various recipes and at different hydration levels. I am totally baffled, so if anyone has any good insight, I am happy to hear it.
The reason I wanted to use fridge at all was because I'd like to bake one bread in evening, and then the next one in the morning. I am considering simply proofing the second in batch longer at room temperature, but then I worry it'd get overproofed.
Please help, any thoughts are appreciated!