The bucket collection (and the dough that lives within: day 5)

Bucket Collection (and the dough that lives within)

Several of you have had questions about the right type of bucket to be using. There are many that fit the bill beautifully, these are just a few! It depends on the size and shape of your refrigerator and how much dough you intend to make. There are a few basic guidelines to storing your dough in a bucket:

  1. Use one that is large enough to hold a full batch (5 or 6 qts), the dough needs plenty of room to grow! Obviously a larger one if you are doubling and smaller for half batch.
  2. Make sure that it has a lid, to prevent a tough skin from forming on your dough.
  3. Make sure that lid is not airtight, you want the gases from the yeast to escape or you will get a crazy alcohol smell building up in your bucket. If you have airtight seals on your bucket, just leave them ajar and it will be just fine!
  4. If you are using a large bowl, which I didn’t take any pictures of, but are just fine to use, either put a lid or plastic wrap over the top.

Now to answer the question about what my dough looks like after it has risen in the bucket and is storing in the refrigerator. These are pictures of the master recipe after 1 day in the fridge, I will try to update as the dough ages!

Bucket Collection (and the dough that lives within)

dough 1 day old

181 thoughts to “The bucket collection (and the dough that lives within: day 5)”

  1. My question is about storing the whole grain dough. I read somewhere in your books that white master dough can be frozen and then used successfully later… and it did! I’m running into the problem with my fridge space. Have you tried freezing your whole grain dough after a day or two in the fridge? If you did, for how long and how it affected the quality of your dough?

    1. Hi Valentina,

      We do suggest freezing the dough. I like mine best after only a couple of weeks in the freezer, but others have frozen it longer than that with happy results. Maybe start with 2 weeks and see if you like the results and then you can push it further from there.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Hello,
    I am a total non-bread-baker, but am excited to try the Artisan Bread. The only thing is, I did not hear or see anywhere how long you bake the little round loaf from the video in the 350 degree oven. Can you let me know, please?
    Also, is it okay to put sesame seeds on the top and then bake it?

  3. Ramona: All depends– which recipe are you making; we need to know which of our books you’re using and the page number with the recipe. Jeff

    1. So…I don’t have to close the lid before I put the container in the fridge? Oops I made the whole grain recipe with vital gluten and it was good. So leaving the lid still cracked in the fridge is only preventing the smell to form but not affecting the final product? I have a plastic airtight container and I just leave a corner open but apparently I was making the mistake of closing it before putting it in the fridge? Thanks for your help! Love your recipes!

      1. Hi Gnequin,

        You don’t HAVE to keep the lid cracked after it is done rising, but if you perceive any alcohol build up in the dough, you can crack the lid and it will help.

        Thanks, Zoë

  4. I have refrigerator space issues…at what point can you split the dough into 1 lb. pieces and freeze? After it’s risen or after it’s been refrigerated overnight? Thanks!

    1. Hi Becky,

      You can freeze the dough any time after it has had its two hour rise. You will stop the fermentation process, so if you want to develop any sourdough character, you may want to wait 24 hours.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Sorry…another question about freezing…after the dough has risen, do you proceed with the shaping and dusting process and THEN wrap and freeze (without “resting”)? By the way, I made my first baguette yesterday and just can’t believe how good (and pretty!) this bread is, with so little effort! I don’t think I’ll ever buy commercial bread again!

    1. Becky: That way, will definitely work nicely, but I’ve done lazy, down and dirty-shortcut versions… like just slopping risen dough into plastic bags then just dumping into freezer. Either way, defrost in fridge overnight before use. If you do it the sloppy way, you need to dust and shape before baking. Jeff

  6. I’ve mastered the boule for my tastes – a nice crumb and thick crispy crust. My husband, however, would like a thinner, even crispier crust…any tips on how to achieve this? thanks!

    1. Becky: OK, some suggestions:
      1. Hotter oven– make sure you’re up to temp with something like, and maybe push it 25 degrees higher than we wrote, but don’t make big boules this way.
      2. Stick with white flour, or very little whole grain
      3. Longer rest time; see FAQs tab above and click on “Dense Crumb…”
      4. Cover with plastic wrap for the resting time.

      See how it goes…


    1. Hi Betty,

      Hmm, you ask very good questions, but I don’t have a good answer. I have not tried those particular substitutions. You will need to do some experimenting. I recommend starting with a small batch.

      Please let us know if you give this a try.


  8. I have been making the master dough bread for a month or so.(based on the recipe on you web page) still learning! but good results.

    I got the new book and cambro container from amazon last week. somewhere in the book I think it said you could cover (seal the top after 3-4 days). on day 5 I sealed the container. today was using the last of the batch. strong crazy alcohol smell, like Zoe mentioned. went ahead and baked for dinner tonight.don’t know how it will be. but more important i
    washed the container well and mixed new batch. after 2 hours to put in refrigerator had the same alcohol smell. I know I washed it well, was not getting alcohol smell even after 12 days before(never sealing the other lid. any ideas.

  9. Hi!
    I have been using abin5 for 2 yrs, just got hbin5 and started measuring flour by weight (mechanical scale, not super precise, 25g increments).
    Tried milk&honney raisin bread and it OVER ROSE!!! Would have poped the lid of had it been loose! I use a 6L container which is normaly more than enough. Used dough fresh for 2 1½ pound loaves in pans larger than recomended size, over rose again, sticking to the loose plasic film, but then no oven rise…
    I measured the vwg by weight, could it be the culprit? The crumb is lovely though, seems a shame to change the recipe…

    1. Hi Laura,

      I have a batch of brioche dough rising on the counter that is threatening to go over the top. It can be the temperature of the ingredients that get the yeast really activated and the VWG gives the dough great structure to trap all that gas. The combination is a high rising dough. It is not a bad thing, just excited dough. When I see that the dough is going to go over the top, I just lift the lid and it deflates slightly to fit in the bucket. Then I throw it in the refrigerator and keep an eye on it for a bit to make sure it doesn’t start to go over again. Or, you can devide the dough into another container.

      How long did you let the loaf rise before baking? If your kitchen is particularly warm, you may need a slightly shorter rest.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Hello,

    I am looking to replace my bucket. In The New Artisan Bread in 5, it says you have options on your site, but I don’t see any buying options here. I also can’t access the pictures on this page. I tried on two different computers, but neither will show the photos. Wondering if a link is broken on here?

    1. Argh, the link is broken, you’re right. That said, the Amazon store-link on the left side of the site is working, and you can flip through the pages until you find the bucket. The Cambro on page 2. You have to also buy the lid.

      To see the Amazon “store,” you have to shut off ad-blocking (like ABP).

    1. I don’t sell products directly through my website here, but I have links which you can click through to online sellers. If you go to the home page, and scroll down on the right side, click on the square that says “Bread in Five Essential Equipment,” it takes you to a page with lots of baking items I mention in my books and here on the site. What you’re looking for is near the top. Note: is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

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