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How Long To Let Sourdough Cool

How Long To Let Sourdough Cool: Full Guide

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Lori Walker

After spending years perfecting sourdough bread, I know firsthand how crucial it is to let the loaf cool properly once it comes out of the oven.

But how long should you let your sourdough cool? 

We’ll look at the ins and outs of cooling sourdough bread, including the ideal time and tips for ensuring a perfectly cooled loaf every time. So grab your sourdough starter, and let’s get started.

How Long Should I Let My Sourdough Cool?

Slicing Sourdough Bread

Generally, it would help to let your sourdough [1] cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing it. This allows the bread to firm up and cool down to a safe temperature for handling. 

“Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it’s flat.”

– Carmen McRae, American Jazz Singer

You may need to let larger loaves cool for up to an hour or more. It’s essential to resist the temptation to cut into your sourdough too soon, as doing so can result in a gummy, dense texture that is difficult to slice. 

By being patient and allowing your sourdough to cool down properly, you can enjoy a perfectly textured loaf that’s a pleasure to eat.

But how long do you proof sourdough at room temperature?

What Happens If I Cut Into My Sourdough Too Soon?

If you cut into your sourdough too soon, you risk damaging the texture and quality of the loaf. Sourdough bread needs time to cool down and its moisture and heat to distribute evenly throughout it. 

By cutting into a hot loaf, you will likely find the texture gummy, dense, and difficult to slice. The heat trapped inside the bread can also cause the crust to become chewy and tough. 

To avoid this, be patient and give your sourdough bread the time it needs to cool down completely before slicing.

How Can I Tell If My Sourdough Is Cool Enough To Slice?

One way to tell if your sourdough is cool enough to slice is to tap on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it’s likely cool enough to slice. 

Another way to check the internal temperature of the bread is to use a thermometer [2], which should read around 200°F. If the bread is still warm to the touch or has any residual moisture, it’s best to let it cool down for a bit longer. 

Remember, it’s better to err on the side of caution and let your sourdough cool down too much than to cut into it too soon and risk ruining the texture and quality of the loaf.

“Just like a good wine needs time to breathe, a perfectly baked sourdough loaf needs time to cool down before it can be enjoyed. By giving your loaf the proper amount of time to cool, you can ensure that it retains its flavor, texture, and aroma and that every slice is an experience to savor.”

– Leonelli Bakery

Should I Leave My Sourdough On A Wire Rack To Cool?

Sourdough Bread On A Wire Rack

Yes, it’s best to let your sourdough cool on a wire rack. A wire rack allows air circulation, which helps the bread cool evenly and prevent sogginess. 

When you take your sourdough bread out of the oven, please remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool.

Be sure to let it cool completely before slicing, as cutting into a hot loaf can damage the texture and quality of the bread. 

Additionally, letting your sourdough cool on a wire rack can help to prevent condensation from forming on the bottom of the loaf, which can make the bread soggy.

Can I Speed Up The Cooling Process?

While it’s best to let your sourdough cool naturally, there are a few ways to speed up the process slightly. 

One option is to place your sourdough on a wire rack and then place the rack in the refrigerator. This will help the bread cool down faster while still allowing for air circulation. 

Another option is to place the bread in the freezer for a few minutes, but be careful not to leave it in the freezer for too long, as this can cause the bread to dry out. 

Read: Guide In Reheating Sourdough Bread

FAQs

How long can you leave sourdough out after baking?

It’s recommended to leave sourdough bread out for about one day after baking. Find out how long you can keep bread dough in the refrigerator here.

Can sourdough rest too long?

Yes, sourdough can rest too long. Over-fermenting the dough can prevent it from becoming overly sour, losing its structure, and becoming difficult to work with.

The ideal fermentation time for sourdough varies depending on the recipe, temperature, and humidity. Still, following the recipe’s instructions and monitoring the dough’s progress closely is recommended to ensure that it rests briefly.

Final Thoughts

Allowing your sourdough to cool down properly is essential in achieving your bread’s perfect texture and flavor. 

Generally, it’s recommended to let your sourdough cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing it. Cooling your sourdough on a wire rack allows for even airflow and helps to prevent sogginess. 

While it’s tempting to speed up the cooling process, it’s best to be patient and let your sourdough cool down naturally. 

Cutting into your sourdough too soon can result in a gummy, dense texture while over-fermenting the dough can cause it to become overly sour and challenging to work with. 

Following these tips ensures that your sourdough is perfectly cooled and ready to be enjoyed.

References:

  1. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-sourdough-bread-224367
  2. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/thermometer/
Lori Walker

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