The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Megan Oliver's picture
Megan Oliver


So I tried to make a sourdough loaf following the river cottage instructions on their website. The starter is great - lively and smells good. The sponge also did well but when I made the dough it rose well on the first prove but the second just didnt happen. I left it for about 6 hours but nothing. It didnt rise in the oven either and ended up being quite flat and solid with cracks on the base. Its also very sour tasting. Any ideas what I could have done wrong?

nicodvb's picture

Hi, maybe the bulk fermentation went too far and the second rise couldn't happen for 1) lack of sugars left to feed the yeasts, 2) too much acidity that weakened the dough (as you tasted), 3) too weak a flour that couldn't bear all that fermentation.

How long did the bulk fermentation last and how much did the dough rise? Don't let it go very far.

Megan Oliver's picture
Megan Oliver

Thank you both for your help. My starter was only a week old so maybe it needed a little longer. I will try again this weekend bearing in mind not overproving it on the first rise and also get some stronger flour in. I had let it double in size so maybe that was too far.

Thanks again.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)  It could be that there's not enough yeast yet.

Try giving it more flour if you feed once a day or switch to twice a day feeding before baking.