Another great bread workshop yesterday- thanks to the five women who mixed their way to a high carb future (and had great humour when, during the low point of the afternoon, the mixer and its operator showered one participant with a pasty water/flour shower!).
I realized that I haven't ever posted pictures of my dough after it's cold risen in the fridge. Here are a couple shots:
This whole wheat, hemp bread had risen for a couple days, but its not unusual for the bag to look this plump overnight. I usually reuse these bags over again (until they pop with one particularly excited, active dough), but I've also used a large tupperware container.
The books that inspired me to try cold rising are ones I've mentioned before: 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg and 'Artisan Breads Every Day' by baker Peter Reinhart. For many commercial bakers and pizzerias, cold rising bread is nothing new- but for home bakers, these books brought the cold rise method to the masses.
There have been a couple significant benefits to our family in the practise of cold rising dough:
1. I make 2-3 batches of dough ahead of time and then bake it, as loaves, buns, pitas, pizza dough, cinnamon buns, etc, when I'm ready. The dough can be left in the fridge for up to two weeks. For single people, there's the added benefit that you can bake in small batches.
2. Slowing down the fermentation process really enhances the bread's flavour-- sourdough is based on this principle. I do notice that after a few days in the fridge, the crumb from cold-rise dough is lighter (more holes) and more flavourful.
If you have other benefits to add to my list, drop them in a comment below.