Can You Refrigerate Dough After It Rises?

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Can You Refrigerate Dough After It Rises

Dough is one of the most common ingredients in baking especially bread. But if you are a beginner, there might more questions in your head than answers. One of the common queries is whether or not you can refrigerate dough after it rises.

So, can you refrigerate the dough after it rises? Absolutely. You can refrigerate risen though. In fact, it helps the dough gain a better taste and texture. The common practice is placing the risen though in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

One of the things you need to keep in mind is to prevent the dough from drying. The best thing you can do is keep the dough sealed in a container during the first rise. Preventing this problem from happening is more challenging in the final rise.

Can I leave my bread dough to rise overnight?

Another question that most beginners commonly ask is whether or not they can leave the bread dough to rise overnight. This happens when there is not enough time to store the dough in the fridge.

The answer to this is that it is possible to leave the bread dough to rise overnight. Just make sure that you store it in the refrigerator. This will prevent over-fermentation and allows the bread to acquire a yeastier flavor. 

This strategy works well especially if you are using the double rise method. Refrigerate the dough during the first rise. I don’t recommend it during the second rise.

Remember that if you are baking a pre-prove dough, you need to constantly keep an eye on its rising rate. Make sure that it cooks perfectly. The over-prove dough will pose a challenge as the gas bubbles expand too much and collapse in the oven.

If you don’t have enough time to rise the dough, you can use a fast-acting yeast. It should make the job done within less than an hour in warm conditions.

Related: How Long Can You Keep Bread Dough In the Fridge?

After the bread dough has risen, how long can it set before baking?

To answer this question, let’s remember the fact that bread dough usually undergoes two proofing cycles. The first cycle is characterized by bulk fermentation wherein the yeast converts starches into sugars. This process rises the dough and gains a better flavor.

This rising process can be slow or fast. It can take less than an hour or several days depending on the storage temperature. When stored in a cool place, the rising process is slower. In a refrigerator, for instance, it can take 3-4 days.

Storing in a cool place for several days is great especially if you want to stretch the dough into thin shapes. Pizza dough is commonly done this way.

The second rise happens in room temperature. The time it requires for this process may vary depending on the type of dough you’re using. But generally, 20-30 minutes is enough.

So how long can a risen dough set before baking? There is no exact answer to this as to the amount of time. But generally, it should be placed a room temperature for at least 30 minutes to one hour before baking. Then, poke it with your finger. Notice if it springs back or not. If it does all the way, it means that the dough needs some more proofing. If it springs back halfway, it is ready to put in the oven. But if the dough does not spring at all, it is over proved.

The thing is, there is nothing to worry about over proved dough. You can still bake it and it still has a good taste. The only thing that you’ll miss is the shape of the loaf. It will not turn into the structure you want.

Tips on making bread dough

If you are an experienced baker, everything will be so much easier for you. But if you are a beginner who tries to figure out the perfect baking process, it can be daunting to you.

But don’t worry, the main goal of this post is to share tips to help people like you gain the confidence and courage to bake bread. That said, here are a few tips you can use to successfully bake bread for the first time.

Make a bread dough the night before

Making a bread dough ahead of time is a common strategy being used by bakers alike. The dough should be stored in the refrigerator. Here are the things you need to remember throughout the whole process.

1. Thaw the dough before baking

One of the most important things to remember is that you should NOT bake cold dough. It should be rested first a room temperature for about 30 minutes to one hour.

This process may vary depending on the temperature in the room and the volume of the dough you are working with.

2. Don’t let the dough dries in the refrigerator

Another thing you should be careful about is not allowing the dough to dry while in the fridge. If it happens, the outer part of the dough prevents further rising.

What you can do to avoid this from happening is covering the container of the dough and seal it. If you are storing dough in a pan, it is a good idea to cover the whole pan with a plastic bag with a seal. This prevents the dough from drying.

3. Let the dough rise in the refrigerator

As mentioned, there is a quick way to speed up the rising process of the dough. However, the better way is to let the dough rise in the refrigerator. The cold temperature will slow down the rising rate caused by the yeast. This will give better texture and flavor to the bread.

Related: Can You Freeze Naan Dough?

Additional Tip

Baking bread can be done in many ways depending on who you ask. This leads to variations in the approaches being applied. That said, it is possible that you come across different and sometimes contending tips when you do research on this matter.

If you are a person who wants to bake bread quickly without understanding all the things needed to remember in order to have a perfect bread, then you can buy a bread machine (click here to view my recommended bread machine on Amazon).

This bread machine will do all the manual work for you. What you can do is to prepare what it needs and wait for a perfectly-baked bread.