The Fresh Loaf

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Why is my sourdough bread not rising any more?

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freebrownies's picture

Why is my sourdough bread not rising any more?

I've been baking whole wheat sourdough bread with a starter I made 3 years ago.  It seems that in the beginning, I struggled to get a lighter loaf, but after a few months it started rising beautifully.  Now, suddenly, my bread is heavy and dense.  It just won't rise like it used to.  Any suggestions?

3 c. starter

5 c. water

4 t. salt

~12 c. whole wheat flour

I always replenish a half cup of starter with about 1 c. water and 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Add a small amount of rye flour, 5% or so, to the whole wheat flour in the replenishment. Rye flour will give that starter a boost because it has a lot ingredients that help. You might also use less water and thicken the starter by lowering the hydration of your starter. Try around 3/4C to begin with and add water a TBS at a time to get a thick paste. The hydration level of your starter may be enabling the yeast beasts to consume all their food before you use your starter.

There are a lot of threads that can help you out. Click on forum at the top of the page and look for the sourdough and starters section. You could spend a day there and you'll know more than you ever expected to at the end of the day.

rainwater's picture

What has helped my sourdough bread is that I give it a fresh feed before starting to bake bread.  A la Hammelman....I feed my starter, it sits for about 12 hours, then I make my first build...this sits for about 12 hours, then I start my bread with this first build.  This has helped a lot.  I don't start sourdough breads with starter that has been sitting in the fridge; I only use freshly fed starter.