General Question

occ's avatar

Can you let dough rise in the morning and then bake with it in the evening?

Asked by occ (4176points) June 14th, 2007

I sometimes like to bake fresh bread (specifically, challah) for dinner parties, but by the time I get home from work I don't have time to let it rise and bake it before dinner. Can I make the dough in the morning (around8 am), let it rise all dough, and cook with it after work (around 6pm)? Or does letting it rise for so long affect the flavor and/or texture?

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11 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

Generally letting bread rise longer improves flavor, although I'm not sure on the texture. You might want to find a slower rising dough to use, or let it rise in the evening the night before, then refridgerate overnight.

You could also look into the sourdough method using a sponge--which doesn't have to actually be sour, I actually prefer it not sour-- the sourdough method just refers to that style of breadmaking.

glenerd's avatar

My wife does the baking i n our family and she has let her dough rise for 3-5 hours at most, it has all turned out fine and it seems to me that the longer it raises the lighter and fluffier it is. I worked in a pizza place fro many years and our dough was usually bad after 3 hours.

skfinkel's avatar

My experience with dough rising is that if you let it go too long, it kind of deflates and looses its goodness. If that happens, you can re-knead it and let it rise again just until doubled. I have also put it in the frig overnight, and you can get it to room temperature and let it rise a bit before baking in the morning. I've also put it right in the oven from the frig, and that usually works pretty well.

star*dar's avatar

check out mark bittman's "minimalist" column in the NY Times. He recently featured a slow-rising bread recipe that he claims is the best and easist bread he's ever made. it involves two risings, the first around 24 hours...

lilakess's avatar

You can put it in the fridge where it will take approximately three times as long to rise, but I think it would be okay even for longer. It'd be better if it got punched down once, but I think if you did it when you came come it would still work. As it happens I have been reading about Challah baking and I recommend Joan Nathan's, The Jewish Holiday Kitchen. She has two recipes in there with attached anecdotes--one recipe has been passed down for 400 years. It's pretty interesting.

nomtastic's avatar

you can leave it sit all day, and in the case of challah, just coat the dough ball w/veg oil, and cover w/a cloth. if you're worried about it over-rising, just leave it in a cool place (not necessarily the fridge, which can cause it to be too moist.)

erk's avatar

I let my bread dough rise too long (approx 24 hours). it started to smell like alcohol. I think it is no good. what can I do with it?

Val123's avatar

@erk Mmmm…drink it?

fiftycentpoker's avatar

Ok, I get the lenghth of time discussion. Most everyone responds that longer is better for flavor but you have to watch that the yeast does not start to turn the bread to alcohol. However, what about the egg that is in Challah. Do I need to worry about that? I usually let my challah rise for about 4 hours. However, I am trying today to let it rise all day with one punch down by my kids while they are home. I am concerned that the eggs in the dough will spoil.

Cutterbup's avatar

I have baked personally and professionally for years. Generally, I like a long proving time. I prepare my dough, let it rise, shape it, then put it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, though some breads call for an even longer proving time. I take it out 30 minutes or an hour before I want to bake it.

Cutterbup's avatar

@Val123 That is actually where the term hooch came from. The stinky booze water floating atop the sourdough starter.

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