The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough turned soupy??

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molikiliki's picture
molikiliki

Sourdough turned soupy??

Hi everyone!

My first time posting here, so pardon me if I am in the wrong area! I've only recently started baking sourdough so I'm at a complete loss as to where I may have went wrong with today's batch. I'm really hoping someone could explain to me what the heck I did wrong!

I was in the process of making sourdough bread today when my dough turned soupy on me! I use Peter Reinhart's method and recipe and it has worked fine for me before, but!.. I did add gouda cheese and chives after kneading/mixing. It was after 1st proofing, as I dumped it onto the counter for shaping, my dough gloopily dribbled onto the counter. It was a sad hot mess folks. In an attempt to salvage it, I added quite a bit of flour (it was almost the consistency of starter) till it wasn't running off the counter anymore. So... Did my dough just forget to dough or what!?

Some things I may (or may not have) done wrong:

-I used fresh chives, washed and allowed to dry completely. I'm thinking the fresh green seeped to much liquid into the dough.

-I used about 3tbsp of cheese to a recipe that yields two 1lb-ish loaves.

 

Grr! I'm so mad! It was turning out so well too! But mostly cause I wont be having cheese and chives sourdough bread for breakfast. :(

 

Thanks guys and have a good one!

 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Sounds like a hydration problem---too much water/liquid in your final dough mix.  Do you use baker's percentage and scale (weigh) your ingredients?  If you are not using baker's percentages and accurately scaling your ingredients you should seriously consider doing so.  Also, try doing a few stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals during bulk fermentation to develop the gluten.  Stretch and folds firm the dough and give it elasticity and extensibility.

molikiliki's picture
molikiliki

I did use bakers percentage and I also weigh my ingredients. As the other posters have pointed out, the culprit may have been the flavorings I added.

Thanks for the reply and video! I really need to get myself a loaf of Tartine bread, seeing as I live only a few hop and skips away.

holds99's picture
holds99

Here's a link  to Chad Robertson's Master Class video that may help explain how to handle high-hydration dough.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIIjV6s-0cA

Howard

WoodenSpoon's picture
WoodenSpoon

Were ya using Peter's basic sourdough formula from BBA? The times that I'v made that I'v had to add additional water and I would be amazed if you followed the recipe and came out with a dough that was that dramatically over hydrated. 

How did the dough feel before you started bulk fermentation?

How did your Levain feel?

It sounds to me as if something caused your dough to break down, Maybe extreme over mixing? or to much salt? or possibly the most acidic levain in the world?

molikiliki's picture
molikiliki

Thanks for the response! Yes, I did use Peter's formula from BBA. I live in California and I've found that the amount he gives in his book works for me, maybe take a tsp or two depending on the day.

The dough was perfect before bulk fermentation. Smooth and passed the window pane test.

The Levain... Sorry I'm really new at this, so I'm guessing that would be the... Firm starter? It doubled in size fine and when I took it out from the refrigerator It had grown just a tad more. 

I feel like the wrong combination of flavorings caused my bread's demise. :(

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

save adding until the final shaping tossing into the folds and see if that makes a difference. 

Next time you have a little dough, try an experiment.  Separate two little balls of dough adding the same gouda cheese into the beginning on one and much later into the other.   

molikiliki's picture
molikiliki

I should have figured! Poor little dough did not stand a chance against the combination of fresh chives and salty cheese.

Even after adding flour, the dough just had an over all greasy feel. A skin developed almost immediately after you stopped touching it.

I am wondering if some weird chemistry happened between the culture in the cheese, the natural leaven, and the liquid that seeped out of the chives.

I decided to go ahead and bake the loaves anyway just for the heck of it. Surprise, surprise, they didn't rise overnight and the bread turned out squat. The crust baked up awesome but the crumb is chewy. One of the breads puffed up from the bottom lol!

Mental note: add cheese, never.

Thank you for your response!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sounds a bit drastic.  There are plenty of successful breads with cheese.  I think that the cheese in your case speeded up fermentation.  That is why I suggest an experiment.  If it has little or no effect, then something else is going on.  

gerhard's picture
gerhard

When I make cheese bread I dice the cheese into small bits and add it when shaping the bread.  I find if you use quality cheese you get good flavour without having to use a lot of cheese.  I shred a little bit of cheese and put it in the brot form to give the cheese look to the bread.

Gerhard