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I want to make a double or triple batch of of this Italian bread recipe that I have. It's for a bread similar to what they serve at Macaroni Grill. My problem is that I am using a pizza stone in the oven and I can only fit one loaf at a time and it takes 20-25 minutes to cook a loaf.

My plan is to mix the dough and let it rise as one big batch. The punch down and separate the dough into individual loaves for the second rise.

The main ingredients are water, all purpose flour, olive oil, sugar, and yeast.

Is there a way that I can keep the additional loaves from continuing to rise while a loaf is baking? Or should I just leave them out?

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    I'm not a baker but I am a brewer... I would think that putting them in the fridge would slow the yeast, wouldn't it? – Catija Mar 1 '15 at 17:04
  • Yeah I used to do home brew and I was thinking the same thing. My concern is that chilling the bread would change the starting temperature of the bread and cause the inside to not fully bake. Maybe if I pull it out and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before baking it will come back up to room temperature – Roland Mar 1 '15 at 17:18
  • Yeah, and depending on the size of the loaves, the center's not going to chill that much, anyway... and I think taking them out early would be a good option. You should definitely wait to see if someone else has a better solution, though! Happy baking! – Catija Mar 1 '15 at 17:25
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If you were going to take the refrigerator approach, it's important to consider when you want to refridgerate it.

Immediately after making the dough, stash two of the doughballs in the fridge. Take the first one out after about 25-30 minutes, and the second one out after another 25-30 minutes. This should give you roughly a 30 minute difference between the rising time of the three loaves. We go slightly under the 30 minutes, as there's a bit of a lag / recovery time for the bread after having been in the fridge.

If you wanted to refrigetate them after the first punching down, you can do it, but that's normally a shorter rise, and it may have some problems fully recovering before you put it in the oven. It'll work, but you'll get more variation in the loaves than if you had done it immediately after the first kneading.

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The most straightforward approach (especially if you're letting a stand mixer or similar do the work) is to just make three batches, starting the 2nd batch half an hour later than the first, and the third an hour in. Then they should more or less become ready as you're ready to put them in the oven. Upside, it will work exactly as you're used to. Downside, of course, is three batches eat more of your time.

As far as refrigerating them, you can—normally, the much slower rise from refrigeration actually improves flavor. The problem is that it completely changes the timing, can change the flavor, the amount of browning (though probably not so much if you've already got a fair bit of sugar), and sometimes even the texture. This is a good approach if you have some time to experiment. You basically would refrigerate it the second you're done working kneading it (sometimes even using ice water, chilled flour, etc.). In your case, you'd go ahead and divide into three portions first. Refrigerate overnight, it should rise some. Pull a portion out, should take ~1h for it to warm up. Usually that's when you'd do a punch-down (even if only 50% bigger, instead of 100%). Again here, you'd pull out the second portion half an hour later than the first, etc.

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