Can you make bread dough a day in advance?

I am planning a fathers day brunch for my dad and uncle so there will be a total of 8 or 9 people. I usually bake my dad a bunch of bread when I'm home but I always have all the time in the world to make different dough's and proof and what not. I really only have the afternoon before and morning of to make brunch so I was wondering if I could make all my dough's and put them in the fridge overnight and do the final proofing in the morning. HELP!

Jacqueline Yaraghi


ChefJune June 17, 2016
I almost always make the dough the day (or night) before. Never met a bread that wasn't improved by doing that.
702551 June 17, 2016
Looking at this recipe for barbari:

the dough itself appears to be very simple with commonplace ingredients, so it should be fine.

If you read the recipe comments, the original recipe's bread flour was replaced by Sara Jenkins with durum wheat flour.
klrcon June 17, 2016
I don't know about barbaric as I've never made it but the other three I have made and I almost always do the fridge thing because the longer, slower rise does make the bread taste better. You should be fine and yes, you do need to proof in the morning. What I usually do is let the bread rise as normal after mixing, refrigerate the bread before the shaping stage, take it out next day, shape it and let it rise and then bake it off as normal. Good luck! and what a lucky Dad with all that bread to enjoy!
klrcon June 17, 2016
Apologies - I think auto-correct added a c to barbari without my realizing it. Actually I'm sure it did because it just did it again but this time I caught it. No slight on a delicious loaf intended!
Jacqueline Y. June 16, 2016
Thank you! I was thinking of doing a ciabatta, a barbari (i'm persian but have never made this), a milk bread and then like a classic country bread. Do you think those dough's would be okay proofing in the fridge? ALSO in the morning, I assume i should leave them out to get to room temperature but would I need to let them proof again?
Nancy June 16, 2016
I do it all the time. Fridge proofing is a known technique, which both slows the yeast rise (if your schedule requires it), and also develops the flavor. Two things to know & note:
1) you may need to punch the dough down a few times during the fridge rise, to keep it in the bowl.
2) the last shaping & rise may take longer than usual or than the recipe says, as the dough is starting out cold. And/or take it out of fridge, let it come to room temp, shape & do final rise & bake.
Jacqueline Y. June 16, 2016
Amazing! You answered my follow up question. Thank you so much!
Susan W. June 16, 2016
This is my new favorite bread recipe. So easy, no kneading, absolutely delicious with an awesome texture. I rarely eat or bake bread, but my daughter was in town from out of state and she was craving lamb and Gigante bean cassoulet with homemade bread, so I gave it a go. It's best if it does a long rise, so making it the day or even two before baking it is advised. It makes a large amount of dough. I used it over a week's time. By day 3, the crust became not as crisp after baking, but still delicious.
702551 June 16, 2016
Depends on the dough, but in many cases, the answer is yes.

Sometimes, the answer is actually "it's better." That's often the answer by top pizzaiolos when they talk about pizza dough (which is essentially bread dough). They claim that the dough develops better flavors by resting overnight. Same with some cookie doughs.

Here's the famous Tartine Country Bread recipe, courtesy of the NY Times:

and in Step 11, the baker Chad Robertson explicitly states the dough can rise 10-12 hours in the fridge.

If you post a link to the recipe you're using, or describe it in detail, the bakers here may be able to give you specific advice on whether or not it will work for your particular dough.

As it stands now, we can't advise you what to do.
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