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Sour Rye dough problems

pambakesbread's picture

Sour Rye dough problems

I have been making Rye Breads for about 6 months now and have occasionally run into a problem with the dough when I use a sour starter and commercial yeast.

What I think happens is when I let the first ferment go too long it creates a somewhat slimy dough that kills the commercial yeast. It is really weird. It does not happen all the time but sometimes when I have let the first dough sit too long it rises all right but it's texture is strange and it is on the forever clock to get to a proofed dough. I have been using the starter for 2 years and it was recently refreshed with organic grapes and it smells great and produces bubbles. Here is the dough I made today and the process I followed if any one has any ideas why 12 hours after I shaped the loaves they have only risen about 30% I would love a theory.

2 cups of 100% Rye Sour

6 oz of Dark Rye

1/2 cup bottled water

I let this rise overnight on the counter. It rose up in the bowl about how I expected it to do. I could not bake so I added 1lb of Pendleton Mills Power Flour and let it rise again overnight. It rose up like a bandit and doubled in bulk.

I added  1 cup water with 1 Tab Barley Malt Syrup at105 and

1 Tab. +1 tesp SAF instant yeast and proofed it ( it was alive and kicking)

I blended that into the Sponge and added 20 Oz of Power Flour

1 OZ salt

1 tsp Flour Salt

1 Tesp of Rye Flavor (KA)

2 oz of Safflower oil

3 Tab Caraway

2 oz organic molasses

mixed it all up, let rest 30 min then kneaded it on #1 on my Hobart for 10 min. Well I knew there was big trouble in that bowl when it would not come together and formed 3 independent clumps of dough in the bottom of the bowl...What the #*&!! is that? So I let it rest about 45 min and hit again for another 10 min and it finally came together..begrudgingly. So I let it rise and after 3 hours!! it had about a 20 or 30% rise. I took it out and shaped it. Now they have been sitting on my counter covered in plastic for 12 hours (it is about 65 degrees in my kitchen)  and have risen about 1/3. They look fine and I have been hoovering and poking them to see if they are proofing, they are slowly --slowly getting bigger. I am going to let them go all night and check them early in the morning to see what is happening with them but this is weird.

If any dough Doctors are out there and can give me clue what is happening. It is definitely a chemical change in the dough because it does not feel like a regular dough. It is very dense and when you pull on it it pulls out in a long piece and feels lax. I do not get it?? There is plenty of gluten in that Power Flour to lift that dough it is about 14% according to the Mill. My commercial yeast is fresh, and the Sour is in good shape. So aside from Aliens zapping it what is happening? Thanks Pam



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

brrrrrr    Cold really slows things down.

and...  the dough seems to be reacting like some rye starter do when wheat is added or when the starter is converted from rye to wheat.  The first rise is great, but the consecutive feeds or flour additions of wheat flour causes baulking from the microbes.  Try smuggling a little wheat flour into your starter sooner along with the rye.

Don't know why the commercial yeast is going flat with a flour addition but I don't have trouble just sprinkling it directly into the dough or water (no proofing)  The recipe is mixed with weights and volumes to the point of trying to translate everything into math.  My instincts tell me to search for a 10 foot pole.  

From what I can figure a large portion of the finished dough is pre-fermented flour about 28 oz of it.  It could be that the problem is a long ferment without any salt addition.  Without salt, the fermentation process can be highly unpredictable, slight differences can be amplified.  The longer it ferments without salt, the bigger the amplification.  Two seemingly identical batches could result in two differently behaving doughs. If you plan on fermenting a large portion of dough over several days, get at least 2% salt into the mixture to make a more predictable ferment.  

Adding salt was probably the mixer reaction you witnessed, tightening up protein bonds and release of water.  You could try mixing differently.  Try putting all the latter-half ingredients together first into a dough before combining with the sourdoughs in the mixer.  (Don't understand the 30 min rest.)  

Check your instant yeast package to see exactly what you are dealing with.  Rapid rise or bread machine yeast is rather powerful stuff and intended to kick out a lot of gas fast.  Throw it in, mix, short rest and shape your loaves to proof.  No bulk rise.  I figure your yeast amounts to be about right but ....if the yeast was proofed first, add those little dough rests and rises in the mixer and bulking before shaping might have spent your added yeast.  

There is a lot going on in this batch to nail down one particular problem and could easily be a combination of events including how the recipe is written.   Would like to see a crumb shot of the baked loaf.

nicodvb's picture

judging from you description of how the dough clumps and splits rather than coming together I bet your dough is too dry. If you consider that high gluten flour doughs becomes more elastic along with fermentation and that rye makes the dough rigid you'll see that all pieces fit.

I'd use more more flour. Rye dough tend to come out better when they are quite slack, reinforced with few folds.