What is bulk fermentation?
Bulk fermentation is the first rise in the dough-proofing process. It starts at the end of the dough mixing process and ends when the dough is shaped. It is called bulk fermentation because the dough is proofed as one mass, versus the second rise (also known as final proof) is when the dough is divided and shaped, and proofed in its final form.
What happens during bulk fermentation?
During bulk fermentation, yeasts (whether it be commercial or natural) convert sugars in the dough into carbon dioxide and alcohol which causes the dough to “rise”.
How long does bulk fermentation last?
Depending on the recipe and environment (temperature, humidity, and other factors), bulk fermentation with natural yeast (sourdough) can be anywhere from 4-7 hours. The temperature range for bulk fermentation is usually between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.