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Holding Bread Dough in the Refrigerator

Fine Cooking Issue 91


Once bread dough rises, is there a way to hold the dough if you are unable to bake it right away?

Christine Barron, via email, None


Bread dough can be held in the refrigerator to slow down the rising, in a process called retarding. You can do this at various stages of the breadmaking process. The best time is after it’s had its first rise. Retarding actually improves the flavor of breads with low amounts of yeast and few or no enrichments (such as French bread), but with high-yeast and enriched doughs, the flavor will not be as good as if you baked it on the first day.

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