The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why is my sourdough bread not rising any more?

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.