The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stiff starter is slow to rise

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

Stiff starter is slow to rise

I've been working with Leader's stiff levain for a few months now and it has always ripened (doubled in volume) within 8-12 hours after feeding.  My usual routine has me feeding and baking 2x per week.  However, after a few days in the fridge, it seems to be taking its time today.  It has risen about 1.5x after 24 hrs this time.  I'm thinking that I may skip baking with it and try a few days of feeding to see if it perks up.  Does anyone have any ideas as to what else I can try?  Thanks.

Yumarma's picture
Yumarma

It might simply be that, being winter, your kitchen is just a few degrees on the cool side and the yeasty beasties are a little sleepy and sluggish. If you can find a slightly warmer corner of the house to park your dough, you may see it perk up a little.

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

The temperature is a tad lower than usual which may explain some of the behavior, but I'm not convinced it explains it all.  It took about 36 hrs for the levain to double... Out of bread, I decided to bake 2 sourdough loafs with disappointing results.  Rise during proofing was negligible and oven spring minimal.  The bread is predictably and disappointingly dense.  I'm hoping a few days of feeding in a warmer environment will bring it back but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what has gone wrong.