The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Not enough rise

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jimmykx250's picture
jimmykx250

Not enough rise

I have just recently got into sourdough bread. I have had great success with the no knead method but when i try to make a traditional loaf my second rise never seems to have much lift. Is this normal? My starter is quite healthy. It is not liquid like some ive seen on this site but rather a thick pancake batter like consistancy. I purchased it from KA. It does have bubbles too. Also wondering how do you get a ww starter going? Im sure its on this site somewhere i just cant find it.

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

how long are you fermenting and proofing jimmy?  Also, are you going by volume (eg doubling, tripling) when you stop fermenting and form your loaves, or are you going by time.  When people first go to a sourdough from having baked with commercial yeast, sometimes there is a learning curve until you realize that the rising times will be longer.

 

if your starter is weak, you could also do a "build" before baking with it.  Sometimes it takes a few feeds to get a starter really revved up, especially when first starting one.

 

Also, are your forming your loaf in a way that the structure will also provide oven spring. 

 

For your WW starter, you can either start it from scratch with organic WW flour, or take a little of your current culture as seed and build it separately with WW flour.  I'd do the former for "kicks" so you can have two different populations of yeast.  If you want to do it faster and easier, you could do the latter.

jimmykx250's picture
jimmykx250

I normally go by time when fermenting. The last batch i did i let it rise for 2.5 hours and then figured that was all i was going to get so i then baked them off. The bread was still good i just didnt get the rise i was looking for. I will normally pull my starter from the fridge and  seperate what i neeed 1 day prior to baking, feed it and let it sit at room temp. That way on baking day it is all ready. My starter is so thick that im not sure what an "active" starter looks like. Mine has bubbles on top and when i mix it you can really see the holes inside the starter so i figure its healthy?!?! 

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

I think there's your answer right there.  I take it this is a natural yeast sourdough starter from KAF.  This process of making bread produces a much more delicious bread by fermenting the flour nicely, but what I think you need to know, is how long these take to rise properly.  A recipe I have open on my desk from Richard Bertinet for example rises 2 hours (which is a "short" first rise) then 17-19 hours in the 2nd.   A total rising time like this is characteristic of a sourdough.  Another example, old world baguettes in Dan Leader's book Local Breads (great book BTW and "teachy") is a 2-3 hour ferment (= first rise) and a 12-24 hour 2nd ("retarded" in the fridge).

 

Do you  have any good recipes for natural yeast sourdough?  you will find they all rise for a much more extended period of time then you might be used to from commercial yeast.  It's worth the wait as the flavor developed is night and day!  For instance Nancy Silverton's book, most her breads are "two day breads" some are even "three day" few are "one day".  You get used to setting them up in advance.  Don't be phased by the long advance time, it's not like you're working during it, but for natural yeast sourdough success, you will have to accustom yourself to rising way longer in total than 2.5 hours.

 

Also, you can't go by time IMO, you need to go by the resulting increase in volume.

 

It sounds as though you're generally doing other things right, so you'll get it, and when you do, you'll be thrilled with the result IMO.  Make sure you're developing proper gluten, [do a windowpane test] and you should be fine with a much longer rise time.  Use a recipe that is made for natural yeast sourdough and go by volume on the rise time. 

 

Only other question I would ask is how "wet" is your dough, do you have a % hydration, or could you tell us how much total water and total flour there is.  What recipe are you using?

 

jimmykx250's picture
jimmykx250

 Im using a maintence recipe for my starter that i read from this site. 100 percent hydration. 1:2:2 formula is what i use when i feed it 1 time a week.  The bread recipe is called classic sourdough that King Arthur sent with the starter i purchased from them.

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

I think your starter sounds fine, though in general they can get better with more use and feedings.  Does the KAF recipe say approx how long to rise or give indications like until doubled, etc...  maybe they don't want to scare customers off by giving indications of long rising times...  here's another good example, Nancy Silverton's basic "country white."  Ferment 4 hours, pre-shape and rest, shape and intermediate rise 1-1/2 hours total, then into the fridge for retarded proof, 15-1/2 hours (or 8 hours out of the fridge for a non-retarded proof).

 

are you convinced yet you're not letting it rise long enough, until desired volume is achieved.

jimmykx250's picture
jimmykx250

Yes i will let time do its thing and see how that goes. I think KAF states until doubled so your theory makes sence. Thanks for all your help. Im still learning.

megamont's picture
megamont

jimmykx250

At one stage I had a similar  problem.

I fixed it by scoring the top in the shape of a square, this released the tension on the top of the dough and allowed it to rise.

Regards,

Megamont

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

I'm sure you're not far from success jimmy!

 

try to keep the dough from drying out during those longer times.  The ferment or first rise I usually do in a covered bowl that has measuring marks on the sides, so I know when it's doubled, I don't go by eye.  If you don't have a bowl that measures, when you put the unrisen dough in your bowl, mark the place that you see as double at that point, so you're not relying on guessing later.