What is cold fermentation?
Cold Ferment is when the second rise of bread dough occurs at a low temperature. Temperature ranges for cold fermentation can be anywhere from 40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The colder the temperature, the slower the second rise.
Why cold ferment?
Bakers can choose to cold ferment their dough for a couple of reasons:
- Baking schedule: Cold fermentation allows bakers to control their baking schedule.
For example, if a baker finishes bulk fermentation and shaping in the afternoon, instead of having to bake the bread that day, they can let the bread cold ferment in the fridge overnight so it will be ready to bake the next morning.
- To develop flavor: The slow breakdown of complex ingredients into simpler ones by the yeast during cold fermentation develops more complex flavors than if the second rise occurs more quickly.
Length of cold fermentation
The length of cold fermentation typically can be anywhere from 16hrs – 4 days. The below Sourdough Neapolitan Pizza Dough is an example of a recipe that calls for cold fermenting in the fridge for at least 2 days, max 4 days, to develop flavor and texture.