Arcachon 15 005

The remaining dough from the Fig & Serrano batch after having been in the fridge for a further 24 hours.
camp sea 004 smallI’m doing this to wind up my friend Rick. On his website Mairs Bakehouse he says this:
“We never use refrigeration to elongate our bread making process. This method we feel only increases the ‘sour’ flavour often associated with sourdough. We don’t feel the method contributes any extra to the health benefits which Sourdough can have and does not achieve the ‘Sweet’ tasting Sourdough Bread which we love.”

I have a few issues about this which I raised with him when he and Maggie came up for the day a few weeks back. Rick is off-grid and generates his own electricity by wind power and doesn’t have any refrigeration apart from his kitchen fridge because he doesn’t have the spare capacity. So how would he know that this statement is true – he’s never retarded dough in a fridge. So I asked him and he said a baking friend in Australia told him. Oh really?

I retard all my doughs because that’s the only way I can organise a one man bakery. Not only is this not detrimental to the finished bread I have come to believe that long, slow fermentation produces the best results. In my experience some doughs, such as brioches, improve immeasurably from an overnight prove after they have been shaped.

According to Rick the little campagne in the photo should be like vinegar after three days in the fridge. Well it’s not. It’s quite delicious with the slightest of sourdough tangs in the crust.

Just as well we are friends …



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5 thoughts on “Arcachon 15 005

  1. Who needs a fridge in Wales. It feels like being in one most of the times I’ve been there!

    I think Rick is concerned more about the environmental impact of using refridgeration on a large scale.


  2. Couldn’t agree more Rick. Wouldn’t be very good friends if we couldn’t live with different opinions. And, not only do I love you as a friend , I respect you as a baker and have the greatest admiration for what you and Maggie have achieved..

  3. Hmm, maybe it’s an Aussie thing but I use your pizza dough recipe for baguettes and if I make the dough Monday and bake Saturday the resulting baguettes are definitely more sour in taste that those made with a dough mixed on, say, Thursday.

  4. I didn’t say dough doesn’t increase in sourness when it’s retarded. What I’m saying is that there isn’t a noticeable increase in sourness (in my experience) if it is retarded overnight.

    Five days after mixing I would expect it to be considerably sourer + the gluten would have seriously deteriorated.

    Hey, let Wales win in the rugby on Saturday. That will give us a shot at Scotland instead of South Africa and you can always beat us later on in the competition! Give us a break.

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