The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overnight retard problem

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

Overnight retard problem

So I'm using the Basic Sourdough recipe in the BBA. I fed the starter two nights ago, made the dough last night and got a good first ferment out of it. The dough doubled in 4 hours. I knocked the dough down and shaped it into baguettes and boules, covered them with plastic wrap, and stuck them in the fridge overnight.

I took them out this morning and left them in my 75-80 degree kitchen. After 6 hours, they hadn't risen at all. They were still flat as pancakes.

When I baked them, I got a fair oven spring, but not enough to offset the lack of a secondary rise. The interior is dense and chewy.

I did the same thing with some sourdough rye loaves, and got a fairly good second rise out of them.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

-Joe

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It's an observation I stumbled upon. Would it happen to be that the flat dough was wheat with a rye starter? The rye dough rose because it had a rye starter? :) Mini Oven

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

The flat dough was white with a white starter. The interior was almost gummy, since it didn't rise.

It is sour as all heck, though, and good with butter :)

-Joe

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You got me stumped. Guess it caught a cold. Maybe it just had to wait a little longer to rise although 6 hours in a warm kitchen ought to do it. :) Mini Oven

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Cold sourdough takes a LONG time to warm up after it comes out of the fridge. I am pretty sure that you didn't allow it enough time. It goes completely dormant in the cold and before it can start to grow again it has to warm up to room temperature. It takes forever.

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

6 hours not enough? Strange. The rye and pane siciliano that I took out of the fridge after the white sourdough had no problems.

Either way, I brought 4 different breads to a friend's house, and they liked the white sourdough (the one that didn't rise) the best! Go figure :)

-Joe

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

It's a white starter that I seeded with my rye starter from "Bread Alone." It's very vigorous and rises the dough just fine normally. I'll just try again next time and see what happens.

-Joe

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I agree with case111 - a good sourdough culture IS gold. I also agree it should be made of nothing but flour and water - anything else is introducing "foreign bodies".
Maggie Gleezer has superb instructions for making and maintaining a sourdough starter in "A Blessing of Bread" - though she stresses the need to treat the culture very carefuly, which I don't find to be the case - the starter I made using her method is very robust and forgiving - lives for weeks unfed and comes straight back to life with one feeding, raises dough very quickly, can be refridgerated when the loaves are shaped to massively increase the sourness - and all with just flour and water ONLY.
She also recommended weighing EVERYTHING in metric - which I have started doing - and it makes SUCH a difference. Consistent, repeatable results everytime.

Andrew

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I've tried proofing the shaped loaves for a few hours before refrigerating and also tried shaping and immediately putting them in the fridge. I find the second approach produces the most flavour - a very distinct increase in "tang". I read to do that in Maggie Gleezer's book and think she's right! If your lucky they'll proof OK in the fridge and then can go staight into the oven - cold dough is easier to slash and has an awesome spring.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Yes, a sour sourdough on 1st attempt !! It has been going now 15 months - it took 2 weeks following Maggie Gleezers instructions to the letter. First few bakes it was a slow process - and made very sour, almost lemony , bread. It has got gradually quicker and I find makes more sour flavoured bread if I refridgerate after shaping - you can smell a vinegar-y smell as it bakes. And I love it!

Andrew

jmcbride's picture
jmcbride

I just came across some information on Peter Reinhart's blog regarding getting sourdough starters up and running.  I thought I would pass it on for those who haven't seen it yet.

 http://peterreinhart.typepad.com/peter_reinhart/2006/07/sourdough_start.html

 

JM