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I'd like to make some fresh bread for breakfast tomorrow, but don't particularly want to wake up at 5am to mix and prove the dough. How could I make the dough tonight so that I could just throw it in the oven tomorrow?

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Just to clarify - it's a stuffed loaf (a layer of cheese and cooked vegetables in the middle) rather than a straight bread loaf. –  nickf Dec 24 '10 at 13:27
    
related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/14184/67 –  Joe Dec 23 '13 at 19:18
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Make the bread all the way through. You can even let the first rise happen. Drop your yeast to about half. Oil a bowl, drop in the dough, spin once to get the ball of dough covered with the oil and then put plastic wrap over the bowl, or a damp cloth...and plastic wrap. Put the bowl in the refrigerator.

The refrigerator slows down the yeast without killing it, which also increases the flavor of the bread (over night cool low yeast methods for bread are considered the "right" way to make bread).

In the morning, pull out the bread, press out any large bubbles, roll it around and let it come to life again. I usually punch it down one more time and then let it rise in the pan or on a sheet depending on what kind of bread I am making, then bake as normal.

In your case, because you're doing a stuffed loaf, assuming there is a rise before the stuffing, THAT is the point where you will start the morning. Everything before the pre-stuff rise, the refrigerator IS the pre-stuff rise, pull it out, let it warm, punch it down, stuff, put in the pan, let rise, bake.

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In breads where the final step is kneading in baking powder, should I do that final step, or wait to knead in the baking powder until I'm ready to bake the dough? –  mdegges Sep 11 '13 at 7:46
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You will likely find you actually get far better results if you start the dough the night before, because the long, slow rise will build great flavors. Go ahead and make it as normal, let it rise a little bit (1/2 hour maybe) and put the covered bowl in the refrigerator.

In the morning, pull it out and let it warm up enough to work it. It may take a while depending on how much dough you have. It'll go faster if you move it to a warm bowl instead of the one that's cold from the fridge.

Once it's warm enough to work, handle it as usual.

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How much time does it take for a 0.5kg bread to warm up enough? –  BaffledCook Dec 24 '10 at 23:15
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Well, it really depends on how cold your fridge was and how warm your kitchen is--and how firm your dough is in the first place. Maybe 45 minutes to and hour? You basically want to let it get to room temperature if you can. You can work it when it's colder, but if you need it to rise after stuffing, that step will take longer if you start with colder dough. It will also have a tendency to snap back, making it hard to spread out if you need that to do the stuffing and rolling. –  bikeboy389 Dec 25 '10 at 14:58
    
I have made bread with dough out of the fridge and for a small un-stuffed loaf, I formed it immediately then let it sit to re-awaken for 30 minutes before putting it in the oven. I think this is the method that "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" suggests. –  Allison Jan 26 '11 at 18:02
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