100% Whole Wheat: Retard in Fridge Ruins Dough

100% Whole Wheat: Retard in Fridge Ruins Dough

Submitted by Natyam on August 13, 2015 – 8:57pm.

Aloha Everyone, 

I have been baking SD loaves every week for a few months now and so far it has gone well. This site has been great. However I am perplexed at a certain scenario that I get into sometimes. 

When my baking cycle goes undisturbed and I am able to bulk ferment, shape, proof etc without retarding the dough, my loaves have a good rise, nice crumb and crust and all, but when I have to slow the bulk ferment down in the fridge(39F) to avoid over-fermenting, my dough gets ruined.

After only about 5 hours, it comes out soggy and the gluten structure is destroyed. Shaping is extremely difficult and the dough never gets back to where it was before going in the fridge. There is a layer of water that collects on top and instead of gas shooting out, water does. Before retarding, the dough is pillowy with a strong, un-tearable skin. 

Anyone experienced this? Or have heard of this? Im leaning towards bulk fermenting for up to 12-18 hours at room temp from now on to try and avoid this issue. 

My basic recipe is 3500g bobs red mill whole wheat, 500g starter(very dry), with a two hour autolyse to break down bran in flour. 80g salt. The water addition is just enough to get all the flour mixed comfortably. 

Thanks for your time. Natyam Raj. 

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