How to Make Pâte Fermentée

It’s really just bread dough, only you don’t bake it. Of course, if you make bread regularly enough you can just make a little extra dough and hold it in reserve for the next batch. Pâte fermentée will keep for 3 days in the fridge and about 3 months in the freezer. A basic formula is:

10 ounces bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
6 ounces (or slightly more) water

Combine your dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attached.

Turn the mixer on low and stir for a few seconds, the add the water and stir for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are moistened.

Switch to the dough hook and knead for five minutes. You want a firm and slightly tacky dough.

Put the dough into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Let it ferment at room temperature for an hour, until it’s increased in size noticeably.

The put it into the fridge overnight. The next day — presto chango — you’ll have made pâte fermentée. Use it right away, within 3 days, or freeze.

8 thoughts on “How to Make Pâte Fermentée”

    1. Hey Debbie! You French is really coming along! 😉

      I’d say thaw it own the refrigerator overnight, since it’s better not to have it completely over-rise before you use it. Once it’s thawed, give it about an hour to warm up and wake up, then proceed.

      Let me know how it goes!


      1. Ah I didn’t realise you’ve seen and replied to my other comment! Thought I’d get an email notification or something. Thanks for the answer, duly noted!

        1. I thought you’d be getting an email as well, Debbie. It used to work that way, anyway. One more thing to talk to my IT person about!

          – Joe

  1. Just came accross the concept of Pâte Fermentée. Can you please advise how one incorporates it into bread baking. For example, how do we calculate how much to use and does it completely replace any other form of yeast normally used? What are the benefits of using Pâte Fermentée. Thanks

      1. Main page? Is it cut off 1/2 cup 125ml add to what your are making, let sit some? +Feed it flour, water each few days if you don’t bake?

        1. Hey Rob!

          I can see the whole thing. But I’m not sure what you’re asking. Can you be a little more specific?


          – Joe

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