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Tips on Fermenting Bread

Bread fermentation baking is used as brewer’s yeast in the production of bread and similar products.

By fermenting the sugar in the dough, the yeast produces large bubbles of carbon dioxide. Gives the end product its characteristic honeycomb-like structure. Certain other products of the fermentation action and the yeast itself, provide the flavour of the bread.

Why do your doughs always fail to rise?

First of all, let’s check the activity of the yeast!

Yeast is a microorganism and if it has “died” due to improper storage, expiry, etc., it will naturally not ferment.

Finally, see if you have used the correct amount of high sugar tolerant dry yeast in doughs that are high in sugar, salt and fat etc.
In more complex fermentation situations, ordinary low-sugar yeast may not be up to the task.

Why do you sometimes have to ferment your recipes 2 times and sometimes only 1 time?

During the fermentation process, yeast produces a lot of flavour substances in addition to carbon dioxide (what makes the dough swell up) and alcohol. It takes time for these flavours to be produced.

Therefore, a second fermentation is usually carried out to give the dough enough time to produce more flavour substances and to give the bread a better taste.

But at the same time, if you are in a hurry, or not so much looking for flavour, a single fermentation is also possible to produce bread.

These primary fermentation recipes can be altered to allow for secondary fermentation to achieve a more adequate flavour.

Those recipes that are secondary fermented can also be converted to primary fermentation as appropriate, sacrificing some of the flavour for a faster and easier process.

Can the dough be chilled and fermented?

Of course
But there are two prerequisites
1. The lower the temperature, the slower the yeast fermentation rate
2. The longer the fermentation time, the more time there is for the various flavours to form.

So, cold fermentation is always a common means of making bread!
Even for those recipes that do not use low temperature fermentation, we can still ferment it as low as we need to.

How long should I ferment in cold storage?

This will be adjusted depending on the temperature of the fridge freezer, the amount of yeast used etc.

In general, the fermentation time is between 12 to 18 hours in the refrigerator (around 4°C). Some doughs will take between 24 to 36 hours (depending on the recipe), so you can adjust the time to suit your needs.

If you only want to ferment the dough for 1 night (8 hours or so), you can ferment it at room temperature for half an hour before chilling it in the fridge.
In short, be flexible, the degree of fermentation depends on the state of the dough, not just on the time.

Refrigerated fermentation is usually used for the basic fermentation (1st fermentation), but you will need to return it to room temperature for shaping, secondary fermentation and baking.

Why does my bread smell heavily of wine?

Alcohol is one of the products of yeast fermentation.

If the fermentation is excessive, the alcoholic taste will be noticeable, so we need to control the degree of fermentation. This is one of the most important points to keep in mind when fermenting.

An over-fermented bread will not only have a strong alcoholic flavour, but the texture of the tissue will also be very affected. Over-fermentation is most common in final fermentation.

Check your last fermented dough (the dough before it goes into the oven) and press it down gently with your finger. If the dough deflates when you press it, then it has definitely over-fermented.

These are the FAQs on fermenting bread, which I hope will help you.

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