There’s nothing better than enjoying a slice of bread in the morning from a freshly baked loaf of bread. But since preparing the dough takes a while, even when using a bread machine, most of us don’t have time to do this in the morning.
So, it is possible to refrigerate bread maker dough? To refrigerate dough made with a bread machine, put it in an airtight recipient and put it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
You will be placing the dough in the fridge before it starts rising. In other words, you will allow the dough to rest and rise at a cooler temperature, in the refrigerator. This will slow down the fermentation process, which means that it will take longer for the dough to rise.
It is possible to allow the bread dough to rise in the fridge
In the morning, when you take the dough out of the fridge, you will have to prove it a little, before placing it in the oven. This will enable a proper “oven spring”, once the dough ends up in the warm temperatures generated by the oven.
But, when using a bread machine, this means to stop the process and take out the dough before it rises inside the machine.
Practically, your bread machine should just knead the dough until it reaches the desired consistency. After that, you can place the dough in a bowl and put it in the fridge, for preparation in the morning.
In this case, it’s no point in shaping the loaves of bread, as they will require an additional round of proofing in the morning. If you don’t do it, there are high chances for the loaves not to spring in the oven as they’re supposed to.
Refrigerated bread dough may not rise sufficiently in the oven
This is one of the biggest risks when using refrigerated dough. Once at room temperature, the dough will have to be proofed and allowed to rest for a while. During this period, it will recover, as the yeast reactivates at warmer temperatures. This means that it should raise a little, a sign that the dough is doing fine.
However, you will need to have this extra time available in the morning. If you place the refrigerated dough in the oven as soon as you get it out from the fridge, you may end up having a flat loaf of bread.
Thus, if you want to bake your loaf of bread in the morning, you will have to wake up earlier to go through these stages.
Still, even so, there’s the risk of the dough not recovering properly. What does this mean? It means that your loaf of bread will not rise enough in the oven, so it will lack its puffiness and shape.
If you place in the fridge bread dough that rose in the bread machine, you will see it flatter in the morning, as it deflates in the cool temperatures of the fridge.
You may attempt to revive it, by proofing it and allowing it to rest at room temperature, but the final result may still not be as desired.
To minimize risks, you should place the dough in the fridge before going to bed. This way, you reduce the number of hours in which the dough stays at low temperatures.
Is refrigeration a must for dough that will not be baked immediately?
If you don’t refrigerate ready-made bread dough, there is a high chance it will go bad until the morning. Even if it doesn’t go bad, you will have a loaf of bread with a slightly sour taste. If you’re good with that, then you can leave the dough on the countertop overnight.
Refrigerating it, on the other hand, will slow down the fermentation process and will prevent the souring of the dough.
The sour taste is due to the fact that the dough is a bit too fermented, a process that is stimulated by warm temperatures. So, putting the dough in the fridge will keep it from getting sour, but it may affect the way it will rise and spring in the oven the next day.
In case it is not too warm in the room or kitchen and you’re making the dough in the evening, before going to bed, you may leave it out without any risks involved.
Of course, this is applicable only for the bread dough that doesn’t contain milk or dairy products as ingredients.
Milk and dairy products will make the dough go bad in just a few hours, so it is not recommended to leave dough made with such ingredients at room temperature for too long.
Refrigeration of bread machine dough is possible, but not recommended
For those moments when you can’t bake the dough right away or you would like to postpone this process, it is possible to refrigerate the dough. However, you should be prepared to spend a bit of time to recover the dough, allowing the yeast in its composition to warm up.
This can be achieved by proofing it and allowing the dough to rest for a while at room temperature. Even so, there are high chances that the dough won’t spring as desired in the oven.
But, you can increase the chances for it to have a nice texture and consistency by allowing it to rise at room temperature first, as mentioned earlier.
So, depending on the dough recipe you use, you may have to experiment a little to find out what works best in the case of refrigerated bread dough, before obtaining the desired results.