Second fermentation—sourdough proof

I ended my last post with my batard resting on the bench, seam down, for a couple of minutes. It’s now time to get it into the banneton and start the proof or second fermentation.

To do this, I give the top of the dough a dusting of flour. I used to dust by flicking some flour with my fingers. I’ve decided that I like it better to use a fine mesh strainer and sift some flour on top of the dough.

I then take my bench knife, and put it gently under the dough. With a little flick of the wrist, I roll the dough over so that the seam is up and at the very top. Then with lightly dusted hands, I try to gently put my palms and fingers under each side of the dough. I pick it up gently and place it in a banneton. I cover the banneton with a shower cap.

I let it rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes figuring that this will let me dough settle down and relax a bit into the banneton. I move it into my fridge that’s around 39F/4C.

I’ve been proofing my dough for 13 hours in the fridge. I need to do some more experimentation with this, but it seems to be working well. For me, the best way to monitor this is I set two reminders on my phone. The first reminder is in 12 hours, and I name it, “Turn on the oven.” The second reminder is in 13 hours, and I name it, “Bake the bread.”