Pate Fermentee

A useful trick for improving the flavour, texture and keeping qualities of your bread is to add in a bit of dough from the loaf before. This technique is called “Pate Fermentee” and is just one way of adding some pre fermented flour into your dough. The pre-ferment improves the flavour of the dough adding a little acidity. It also improves the strength of your dough which improves the final texture of the bread. Adding pre-fermented dough helps by slowing staling keeping the bread softer for that bit longer.

It might take a bit of forward planning but if you are regularly making bread then it is worthwhile cutting off a small chunk (50g/ 100g) and popping it (well wrapped) in the fridge until you are ready to make your next loaf. It will sit happily in the fridge for three or even four days. Then simply add this chunk of dough to the next dough.

The best way to add the chunk of old dough is by placing it in the bowl first. Then add the water that you intend to use and break the old dough up in the water before adding the rest of the ingredients. This makes it easy to combine the old dough into the new dough.

So next time you are making a dough why not consider keeping a chunk of it to add to your next loaf. I demonstrate how to do this in the video below.

If you would like to learn more about using preferment dough I show you how to use it (poolish and biga) to make ciabatta, baguettes and bagels in my online Advanced Breads course. You can access this course and all of my other online courses by joining my Bread Made Easy Membership.

Bread Made Easy Membership

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