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Sourdough bread not rising much

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Netvet007's picture
Netvet007

Sourdough bread not rising much

I made Hammelman's Sourdough Seed Bread this week.  I did not know what to expect for size of loaf but I carefully followed recipe. It was 75% final hydration and dough was somewhat sticky.

I used my 100% hydration sourdough starter from the fridge and refreshed it with a 1:2:2 feeding Tuesday a.m.  Then, I built the levain per his instructions Tuesday night.  Wednesday a.m. I made the final mix. I did two folds and the bulk fermentation went well, I thought.  Two and a half hours later, I put my divided dough into two bannetons, slipped them into plastic bags and put in refrigerator around noon. Waited patiently.  This a.m., took boules out of fridge and....it didn't seem like there was any rise at all!  See picture.

I decided to try an experiment.  I dumped the dense dough on the counter and slashed it and put in preheated Dutch oven and baked it.  The other loaf, I put back into refrigerator to bake later.  I baked that one after 8 more hours in refrigerator and two hours on counter at room temperature.  That one didn't rise much either.  Baked it anyway.

I will post pics of each loaf.  I will say that the crumb on the first loaf seemed ok and it tasted fabulous.  Loaf looked ok but seemed too small.  Was my starter not ready for the heavy lifting? I've had great luck with my sourdough starter with other recipes.  

Any ideas?

Lisa

Netvet007's picture
Netvet007

 

 

Here is the first loaf.  Seems too small.

Lisa

Netvet007's picture
Netvet007

Here is the crumb.  

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

but I think you got a very nice loaf of bread there!  I have no comment on the diameter of the loaf, but the crust color is beautiful, and the crumb looks excellent visually.  You have a nice distribution of large and small holes, no thick, dense spots to make one suspect under-proofing, and you got nice loft.  All in, I think it's very good.

You must remember that there is a very heavy weight of seeds and grain in this loaf, and they carry a lot of moisture over into the dough making it heavier still, so it is harder for the yeast to lift it up.  That's is why he calls for high gluten flour instead of plain "bread" flour for this loaf (in the first edition of his book, at least).  That makes for a heavy-weight loaf and the yeast better be ready for the heavy lifting.

That leads me to your starter.  You said you pulled your starter out of the refrigerator and refreshed it only once.  You did not say how long it had been in storage, how it had been refreshed before it went in, or how long it had to get going before you put it away.  All of those factors will impact the vigor of your starter when you take it out.  I also store my 100% hydration starter in the fridge.  I feed it and give it at least an hour, but no more than two hours, to get active before I put it away.  Then I always refresh it at least twice after I take it out, especially if it has been more than a week in refrigeration.  Sometimes it takes 3 refreshes to get it properly revved up, especially if it has been in storage for a couple of weeks.  If it were my starter it would have trouble being vigorous enough to raise this loaf after only one refreshment out of storage.  It really looks like yours did just fine though.

Well, that's my opinion anyway.  You will get more.   But take my word for it:  that's a nice loaf of bread!
OldWoodenSpoon

TKP's picture
TKP

I agree with the Old Spoon. That's a fine looking loaf you've got there. 

Netvet007's picture
Netvet007

I did use only bread flour, not high gluten (not listed as needed in the second edition).  My starter is fed weekly, and usually put back in fridge two hours after feeding,  this last time, I think I forgot and put it away 12 hours later. 

I usually refresh once but next time, I will try two feedings before final build.  The loaf tasted wonderful and got high marks from hubby so it was great that way.  Just thought I needed more lift so will try again with suggestions given.

Here was the other loaf I proofed longer.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You have a very nice loaf of bread.  Great bloom and color - the spring is nice too.  The crumb is very good too.,  No Worries!

Nice baking

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Your bread looks wonderful. On the subject of sourdough rise: I wonder why you expected a rise in the refrigerator. What temp is your fridge? Sourdough basically quits rising at fridge temp, or at least mine does. It flattens out and does nothing until it is brought back up to room temperature. You can speed it up by putting it into a very warm place like an oven heated to 80 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven light works fine for this. Different sourdough cultures work differently, of course, but I've never heard of one actually rising in cold storage. I haven't looked at the recipe, but as others have said, your loaves look like they did well, even if the size is not what was to be expected.

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

Like OldWoodenSpoon, I find I need to refresh my starter at room temp a few times to get it vigorous enough. And like DavidEF, I wonder why you expected a rise in the fridge. Even after pulling the loaves out of the fridge, in cooler weather, and with the loaves cold out of the fridge, I'd probably expect the rise to happen in about 6-7 hours, not 2. Beautiful loaves, though!