The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Explodes!

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Saiphm42's picture
Saiphm42

Sourdough Explodes!

The photo isn't mine. In fact, it's not even sourdough. It's a photo of Irish Soda Bread that burst open.

 

Buuuuut, that's what's happening to my sourdough.....

 

In fact, recently, it got even more severe. It's not bursting nicely like this photo anymore. It's started coming out looking like a beast tore it apart. And the bread is dense and a couple of times, so much so that it never baked through.  :-(

 

It didn't just happen one day. It came on slowly like a disease. The loaf split more and more each time I baked and then started to look torn and undercooked.

 

I've thought that maybe my house humidity has changed maybe. Or perhaps I'm getting frustrated and impatient and am not proofing long enough....maybe my dough is wrong from the get-go, but it used to work just fine...

 

 

Im just at my wits end with it. What do you guys think it could be?

 

 

-Jessica

golgi70's picture
golgi70

If you would share your formula and process and possibly a picture of your loaf (not totally necessary) I'm sure we could give you some good pointers to success.  

Josh

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

most problems with loaves go back to the starter so if you can tell us about it and how you maintain it.  This would most likely be useful.  Also what flour are you using in the exploding bread.

(The sooner you remove that photo, the better.  Not only is it not the problem, it is an obviously copyrighted photo.  Should not be used without permission.) 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Mini, as you attribute so much to the starter I wondered if you could explain why one would separately create a levain that takes 6-12 hours instead of just adding the ingredients for the levain directly to the mix and letting it sit/autolyse for that same period of time. If that would work it would save some time on the bulk rise day. 

adri's picture
adri

This is a huge topic, that I'd like to discuss in a separate thread.

Because I ask myself the exact opposite: "Why the bloody **** do people in this forum use so little (-> no predeveloped flavour) and so underdeveloped levain (not recently built but rather from a jar of starter) and then need so long bulk fermentation that destroys the structure of the bread."

My brief sketch:

  1. Flavour of the levain just plays an important role if it is a lager portion. The temperatures for the levain to develop it's distinct flavour might be a different as the dough needs for structure development and rise.
  2. You need less time on the day for baking. Especially if you have a system that adjusts the fermenting temperature semi-automatically when building the levain.
  3. Some doughs loose their desired structure when resting too long. Expanding the bulk fermentation phase isn't an option then.

I'd really like to discuss this, when I have more time. I recently got access to a supercomputer that I really need for my research. Therefore I won't have much time for hobbies in the next couple of days.

Maybe we can open a topic on a weekend about this?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

There is sure to be discussions in the archives!  Try:  Why preferment?   Starter building process   Why build a sourdough?   ...and see what comes up.  Don't forget to investigate the opposite like why puffy fast bread became so popular?  How demand changed wheat  (and now the rye)    

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/32248/building-doughs

one step build, two step build, three step build.  all possible.  

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

has not exploded there. It's very typical for soda breads to be shaped into a boule and then given a very deep horizontal and vertical scoring (a cross) and by deep I mean almost to the bottom of the dough. In the picture there it looks like the mix didn't hold together well resulting in the 4 corners falling outward.

As the others suggested your recipe and starter maintenance regime will be useful pointers. It could be that your starter is very active and that you are failing to knock the dough back sufficiently and thus generating huge air pockets inside the bread. It could also be a high moisture content but under-developed gluten, resultng in lots of steam which is not being held in place as small bubbles by the gluten framework. The latter prompts me to ask (as MIni has) what kind of flour are you using?

adri's picture
adri

My guess: underproof maybe in combination with malted flour* -> too much oven spring combined with too deep cuts.

But that's just a guess because of the little information.

 

* I was told that in some countries you have to take care not to buy malted flour. There is no warning sign or anything on the packet, nor does it say "malted flour" but just "flour".

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Without the information regarding her process little can be said to the reasoning.  Malted flour is a fine ingredient in bread making.  Many that get unmalted flour will in fact add malt to improve dough characteristics.  Many fine flour companies add malt to balance the falling number I believe.  And to your previous post on this thread.  Your desire for a separate discussion on pre-ferments and bulk ferment timing would be a very interesting and complex topic to discuss.  But to complain how others on this site make their bread is a bit over the top wouldn't you say.  There is more than one way to skin a cat. 

I look forward to the weekend discussion

Josh

adri's picture
adri

I never complained, just wondered.

If I have offended someone unintentionally, I apologize.

I'm living in a country, where you, literally translated add "are you stupid" to sentences to add emphasis. We use this in a less offensive way than others use "great". Mini must know.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

four-star-loud about it.  Which can be rather strong.   Not to poke fun or anything but I'm smiling.  When I wonder about anything in Austria, I'm often accused of complaining.  ...Just enjoying the irony.   Don't anyone get on my case now.  

I wish we had a real photo so we could properly evaluate.  I keep imagining dough all over the kitchen!  I bet it will look like it gave birth to another loaf!  And you know what that means....