Challah dough help

I am making CI's challah recipe with a change- they call for instant yeast to make the loaf in one day, but I use active yeast and do an overnight rise in the fridge. I made it at home with complete success, but now having the holiday at a friends house and it has gone a bit wrong.

The recipe calls for an initial rise to double, then punch down, then rise again, at room temp. Instead I put the dough right in the fridge overnight. Our friend keeps his fridge way colder than ours, about 37 degrees, and the dough didn't rise at all. I now have it warming up & rising. At this point should I do the punch and second rise? I don't want to over proof before forming the loaf, but I don't know if the time in the fridge "counted" as proofing. Thank you for any help, and I hope everyone's holiday cooking is going smoothly!

  • Posted by: MDC
  • November 26, 2015


ChefJune November 26, 2015
Since you've made it before you know what you want it to look and feel like. If you have that after it's doubled in bulk, you're safe to go ahead and form your loaves. OTOH, if you have the time, a second rise never hurts.
MDC November 26, 2015
Good point! I don't bake bread often enough to be confident when things don't go according to plan. :) Thanks for your help!
Nancy November 26, 2015
I bet it did a very slow rise in the cooler-than-normal fridge. And there's almost no such thing at "over proof" - bread dough can be in the fridge for days, and still be good.
What you need first is to bring it to room temp (may take an hour or two, depending on size of batch), then let it rise to double.
You could then punch down & do another dough rise (if you have the time).
Or punch down, shape, let the shaped loaf rise, then bake.
MDC November 26, 2015
Thanks for your comment! Yes, time is the big factor - like everyone else we have a lot of cooking to do today! I think I will try the second rise if the first goes quickly enough. Happy Thanksgiving!
Kristen M. November 26, 2015
The time in the fridge counts as proofing, it just happens much more slowly (and makes for a better flavor, too!). You're doing the right thing by letting it warm up and finish proofing. Does the recipe have any visual cues for when you should do the punch down? Doubled in size?
MDC November 26, 2015
Yes, you are supposed to punch it after it has doubled, then let it double again. It woke up pretty quickly after I took it out, so I am encouraged. Thank you!
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