Schedules for sourdough baking


I have posted a discussion of this on [url=]the blog.[/url]

an excerpt...
One of the things that puts people off baking at home is the amount of time that it seems to take. Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked bread, and the idea of baking your own loaves, but the time involved can seem overwhelming. That is the attraction of bread machines and ?quick loaves? I suspect, but the danger is that the disappointment that frequently ensues from the resulting loaves puts people off altogether.

For sourdough loaves that might need to prove for up to 8 hours it can seem difficult to imagine just how anyone with family or work commitments could possibly fit it in to their lives. In this blog I will work to dispel that fear.

In fact sourdough is substantially easier to fit around a busy life than yeast-based loaves. The timings are considerably more flexible. The main trick is to plan ahead. It is clearly not possible to decide in the morning that you would like a fresh sourdough loaf for lunch unless you already have a dough mixed and proving.

What follows are a couple of different suggested timetables for sourdough baking. They follow the same principles used in the other tutorials. Have a look at the slashing and baking tutorial for a description of baking a 100% sourdough loaf, and have a look at the proving tutorial for a description of proving and using the fridge. I have given timings for Saturday baking, but obviously you can adjust them to suit your own life and when you have time to bake.

[url=]sourdough schedules[/url]

what do other people do?


261 users have voted.


nina 2006 October 8

Your beginners blog is very helpful, Dom! It was the first thing I read when I got online again

I've based my schedule around the fact that I'm not a morning person... I prefer to do most of the tasks in the afternoon or evening. That way my mornings don't get so stressed - and I don't mess things up because I'm half asleep

[b]1st day, evening[/b] (this depends on how early I have to leave for school, I try to time the frefreshments 12 hours apart): Take starter from fridge, refresh.
[b]2nd day, morning:[/b] Second refreshment of starter.
[b]2nd day, afternoon/evening[/b] (not more than 12 hours since starter was last fed): Mix dough, 3 short kneadings, pop in fridge.
[b]3rd day, afternoon:[/b] Take dough out of fridge, do a few stretch and folds (over 30-60 min. depending on how much the dough has risen in the fridge).
Shape dough, let it prove in a basket for about 3-3½ hours. Bake.

Bulk fermenting in the fridge makes a very flexible schedule... I can shape the dough around noon or late in the afternoon after school if that suits me better. I just have to remember to include a few hours for the bread to cool down before I wrap it up and go to sleep. Of course it's more fun to have the bread ready to eat in the late afternoon or early evening so you can use it for sandwiches or with dinner. But either works and I can bake on school days as well.

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 September 25

OK, today, Monday. Up at 6.00AM and refresh starter, check out the web for overnight postings, cook and eat breakfast, wash up, shower, 10.30 AM go to a movie (love being retired), 3.00PM-3.30PM mix bulk batch of dough, 6.00PM start having tea, 7.00PM shape 3 loaves and put in fridge, 7.15PM relax in front of TV.
Tuesday, up at 6.00AM, turn on oven, take 2 loaves out of fridge, 7.00AM put 2 loaves in oven, 7.45AM take out 2 cooked loaves and put in last loaf, 8.30AM take out last cooked loaf.
Total time devoted to baking 3 loaves = 2 1/4 hrs less the time spent preparing and eating breakfast and washing up while the loaves are cooking.

If you plan it, it does not take all that much time.

Normbake 2006 September 27

That is a much better schedule than mine I get up at about 3 am and mix my dough bulk proof for about 3 hours then shape and final proof then bake ready for lunch but bread is way too hot too enjoy. Will try different times see what I like best.
Bill, SourDom, Jeremy,TP, and other sour dough people what water temp are you using I make mine 28c 30c
just interested in what other people are using.
Cheers Normbake

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 September 27

Haven't really checked temp since I left school, but I use filtered room temp water or whatever is left from the tea kettle, not hot of course!


Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 September 27

Straight out of the tap, adjust until just warm on my fingers. Have been doing it this way so long I think I have calibrated fingers.

SourDom 2006 September 27

I always just use room temperature water, but probably as a consequence my proofing times are much longer than others.


TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 September 27

My flours are kept in the freezer to maintain its freshness and to keep them weevils away...things go stale fast in this heat and humidity. So...I use warmed filtered water which when mixed with the flour brings everything to room temp.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 September 27

I'm going to look up some notes I have regarding room temp, water, flour and friction factor and post it when I find it!


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