A Stir The Pots Post

Got some old dough?

by | Oct 11, 2010 | Baking, Bread, Fermentation

Old doughs- you have used them before, right? They're those hunks of dough laying in your fridge; the piece from a previous batch of dough left in an old ziploc bag or in a flour-and water-crusted jar, heaving with carbon dioxide bubbles trying to get out for some air. Often they do sneak or ooze out like b-movie creatures clinging to all parts of the fridge.



It's like what John Downes famously called, "satan's spawn." Yes, sometimes that old dough isn't a sure fire thing, wether it was created with a pinch of commercial yeast or natural sour. It's just too sour or too old. I can't say truly what is the golden rule to handling such a creature, but whether it was luck, skill, or perserverance, this weekend good things came despite old dough.

Specifically, I was working with a bit of old pizza dough in my fridge and with my usual starters in deep hibernation from lack of any feeding for more then a week. It seemed that there wasn't going to be any baking going on here. But the lazy baker in me was simultaneously lazy – not up to waiting for a refreshed  batch of levain – and simultaneously obsessed, nothing would stop me from my bake. Well, lo and behold, we got some bread!


Pre-ferment, old dough whatever you call it, some times it's the luck of the gods that are looking down on you. But beware. Satan's spawn could be lurking!




  1. Vincent

    Nice one! That’s the way to go 😉 Nothing ever goes in the bin!
    The other day I used a leftover from Patrycja’s pizza dough as preferment to make bread it came out really good too. It must something to do with our good karma! 😀

  2. Jeremy

    I remember visiting my brother in CA. when he baked bread, they had a whole tub full of various dough scraps chilling for later use…Waste not want not!
    If I get a chance to bake, well that is karma or sheer luck, schedule is totally screwed up!
    Happy Baking!

  3. Dana

    What a handsome bread! As they say, the old begets the new!


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