The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough troubles

fidlfixer's picture

Sourdough troubles

Can anyone out there give me some troubleshooting advice. I've had a starter going for 3 weeks now and it doubles every time i feed so i'm thinking it's healthy but the last two recipes i've made the bread has come out dense. The first time I think it was because i used all whole rye in the recipe but the second one was from Breadtopia website and he has a video to follow and the technique is a stretch and fold and the bread should come out airy and about say 5 inches tall mine came out only half that! so i'm real confused and dissapointed :( 

thomaschacon75's picture

There are many variables that result in poorly leavened bread. It may not be your starter. Could you provide a link to the recipe? That might help us troubleshoot.

Rye breads can be airy, but it takes a lot of experience to get there. I've been baking bread for over a decade (ryes for three) and light ryes are still hit or miss for me. I've never baked an airy loaf with 100% rye, but I'm getting close with Mini's 100% Rye Loaf.

You mention stretch-and-fold. That technique is used to strengthen dough. The more you stretch-and-fold, the stronger the dough becomes (to a point). If your dough is too strong, too developed, it could cause problems with leavening. I often have this problem with high-hydration doughs like ciabatta. I stretch-and-fold too much and get a heavy, dense loaf when my intent is the opposite.

Again, though, lots of variables, so please post the recipe and let others have a look.