The Fresh Loaf

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My First Sourdough Problem - Drying Out

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bringonthebread's picture
bringonthebread

My First Sourdough Problem - Drying Out

I am making a sourdough loaf for the first time.  I am using cranbo's beginner's sourdough recipe from here.

 

I followed the instructions and it went off without a hitch until this morning.  Yesterday I put the dough in the refrigerator loosely covered in a flax linen couche that was set in a glass bowl.  I didn't use plastic wrap like I usually do.  Today, I take my dough out and I see the top of the dough has completely dried out .  The rest of it seems pretty elastic and normal--only the top has dried out.  Will the dry crust on top affect the dough's ability to rise?  Should I fix it and what should I do to fix it?    I still have 3-6 hours of waiting for the dough to rise so I'll report on what happens.  But, I'd appreciate anyone's help.

phaz's picture
phaz

the dry crust can, and probably will, limit rising. same with oven spring. if not sealed in the fridge, it will dry out quick. all that cool dry air makes it go fast. try misting with water a little. if not too thick it should soften up, but I would expect a little loss of rise both before and when in the oven. let us know how it goes!

bringonthebread's picture
bringonthebread

So I ended up spraying the dried crust with water from a spray bottle.  That seemed to help bring moisture to the bottom of the bread to remove the dried out bits. The dough rose pretty much normally.

The crust didn't affect the oven spring negatively from what I saw.  My only concern was that the crumb was very moist.  The spongy, holey texture was present as expected, but the moisture was almost gummy.

Considering the overall texture, I'll make sure to put the dough in a plastic bag before placing it in the refrigerator.

phaz's picture
phaz

see what happens with your next loaf. the water shouldn't effect the crumb, just the outer dried layer. May have to bake longer or at higher temp, or both.