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I've been baking with the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day recipe for nearly a decade, off an on, and like a lot of people I decided to try to step up my game over the last year. I feel like I've reached the point where I have a good mastery of techniques with that recipe, and wanted to try out a more "standard", knead-needing, lower hydration recipe.

So I whipped up a batch of the basic dough in the river cottage bread handbook (60% hydration, all bread flour), and damn son. Compared to what I was getting with my no knead dough, that crust.

So now I want to figure out how to combine the best aspects of these recipes, which to me would mean be able to make larger batches at a time and refrigerate to use over a few days. I don't mind kneading at all, and taking the time to punch down etc.

I'm not sure what makes the no knead recipe work well with the fridge. My guess is that, since I'm not building up and long gluten chains by hand, I don't have to worry about it over fermenting and breaking down the gluten structure after several days of fridge time, maybe?

So how would I apply this to a more "normal", kneaded dough? Maybe just toss it in before final proof but it's only good for 2-3 days? Maybe do one less punch down and rise before putting it in? Maybe dont bulk ferment at room temp at all, just knead and straight into the fridge? And in that last case, maybe give it time for an extra rise at room temp before the final proof if I take it out on the first day or two?

I know I should probably just try to figure this out in my own but that would take a lot of flour =)

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For dough storage at fridge temp it is best to refrigerate immediately after kneading, but you can also do so at more or less any time during rising.

Storing immediately after kneading will allow you to keep the dough for 2-3 days before you need to use it. It will slowly start to rise over this time, and the rising process is the limitation on the storage length. The slow rise also tends to give better flavour. However, if it has started to rise before you refrigerate, it will not keep for quite as long, as you have the limit on rising.

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  • Fantastic, thank you!
    – Fulluphigh
    Apr 28 at 21:57

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