The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Basic sourdough from the BBA with my starter instead of barm.

AnnieT's picture

Basic sourdough from the BBA with my starter instead of barm.

Not a great success, which is frustrating as I did everything by the book - kept dashing back to check at each step. As I mentioned, the dough was great to work with and I had great hopes, but in the end there was practically no oven spring. The bread tasted good and the crust had the pretty "freckles", but there weren't many holes. My only thought is that I overproofed the loaves - I let them sit for 4 hours after coming out of the frig because that is what PR suggested. I had made batards and they rose nicely and didn't collapse when I slashed them. I would REALLY appreciate any comments from you more experienced bakers. By the way, I just checked out the Breadtopia site and Eric offers a spelt no knead recipe. Something else to try - no wonder my poor old brain is mithering, A


KipperCat's picture

Since I definitely overproofed today, I sympathise.  Does PR's book discuss room temperature? Four hours at 75F would do a lot more than four hours at 65F.

I'm glad it tasted good!


(I'm barely even a novice baker, but the effect of room temperature has been on my mind lately.)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"playing it from experience." When the temperature rise, naturally dough will rise faster. Touch your dough often and feel the temperature through your fingers. When the dough comes out of the fridge, it does take time to warm up. After it has warmed up and risen somewhat, this is where the poke test comes in handy. You want to gently press the dough and feel some resistance. If the dent stays, then the dough is boarder line, quickly put it into a pre-heated oven. The trick is to bake it before it reaches this stage. If the oven is cold (which means that the loaf will be rising longer still) or the dent gets bigger and causes the dough to colapse, then it is definitely overproofed and better to re-shape and let it proof (rise) again than to bake a flat loaf and might be advisable to use a form since the dough is "tired." If a rye loaf (40% or more) is overproofed, then I would advise lightly working (by folding or barely kneading) in some AP white flour and then reshape to proof, it will end up with a swirly pattern inside but it will rise. Mini Oven

kjknits's picture

Hi Annie, since I just baked this recipe with my own starter, I have a little experience with it...I didn't proof my shaped loaves in the fridge.  In fact, I only let them sit for about an hour and a half after shaping before baking.  They were getting rather puffy and I was afraid they would overproof and collapse on me.  I have read recently that it's better to err on the side of underproofing, anyway, because you will get better oven spring.  So, if you have a good active starter, I would say to just let them sit at room temp for an hour or two and then do the poke test as mini oven recommended, and see where you are at that point.  It makes a wonderful bread, so keep on trying!  Even our mistakes are usually pretty darn good, anyway! =)

Katie in SC