We have been conditioned to expect instant gratification. I hate to break it to you but sourdough baking is pretty much the exact opposite. It requires more time and patience, but thankfully not more energy than other types of baking. People try to rush the process to get that loaf of bread ASAP, but you might enjoy the results a little more if you just cool your jets :)
You may notice that our sourdough recipe calls for a 12 hour proofing period in the fridge. Some of you might be curious why. So sit back, stop trying to skip the long proof, and read our 5 main reasons you should let your bread dough proof in the refrigerator.
1: Flavor- It adds complexity and a deeper flavor to the final result. Trust us, the wait will be worth it.
2: More Digestible: Heritage wheat is inherently more digestible than conventional wheat, but you can take it a step further with a long proof. Fermentation breaks down the gluten and makes the bread more digestible. Additionally, the starter eats the sugars which lowers the glycemic index.
3: More Time, More Sour: If you like your bread more sour, proofing it in the fridge for a longer period of time increases the sour flavor.
4: Easier to Handle and Score: We find it releases more easily from the banneton, and the dough is less sticky making scoring easier.
5: Flexibility: It allows you to bake the bread on your schedule. The 12 hour proof is just a starting point. In reality anything from 12 hours to 48 hours in the fridge will make a great loaf of bread. This means you can bake when you’re ready.
Give a long cold proof a try- you may be surprised how big of a difference it can make!
All for now,