Molasses Rye Sourdough – Cool Retard

I live in Washington state on the coast where it stays fairly cool year round. It’s summer here, but our average temperatures are still only in the 60’s.

When baking, it’s always good to use the resources you have. If you live where it’s cool, you can sometimes retard your dough more easily by just putting it in a cold room, a cold porch or even a garage. I’ve even used the trunk of my car to store dough for bulk fermentation.

Having your dough bulk ferment above 40F/4C is a plus because the dough will ferment slowing and continue to rise. Below 40F/4C and it will ferment very slowly or even go dormant. Refrigerators are usually below 40F/4C.

Slow rising, cool retarded dough produces bread with superior flavor in my opinion.

For most people trying to use an alternate source for retarding dough is best in the spring and fall when temperatures are right around 50-60’s F/10-15’s C. See if you have a space around your home that stays cool overnight. If you find a place then you can try the following bread which is soft, moist and delicious. It’s addictive actually.

The dough is made with 25% rye, 25% wheat and 50% bread flour plus some molasses. The dough handles more like clay than dough, it’s pretty interesting.

Here is the formula:

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  1. This was my first “slow” proof bread and it required a lot of faith. I’ve made other ryes- some with success and others, not so much. With this recipe, I was concerned about the small amount of inoculation required. Likewise with the small rise when I retrieved it from it cool final proof (I put it into a wine fridge at 53º). But the oven spring was very good! And the taste is wonderful. A good crumb, but not light ‘n fluffy like most light wheat breads. I really love it! I think I will try it with cracked wheat or another unmilled grain. I must say, Teresa, your recipes come out wonderful all the time. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Michael, this particular bread is a favorite for several of my family members. It’s nice to know other bakers like it too! You’re luck you have a wine fridge, it will help your bake immensely.

  2. Hi Teresa
    With Covid. I’ve been baking a lot and giving to friends who need encouragement.
    I wanted to try this. I bulk proofed overnight in storage area. The dough Temp was only 54 degrees. It doesn’t look ready to shape. Should I just proof at room temp foe a bit ?
    All the best

    1. Dennis, this was exactly my concern today when I tried this. And after the cold final proof, it never seemed to warm up enough to bake. But I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers and put it into the oven. It came out terrific! One of my best breads.

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