The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Bread Not Rising

andycr's picture
andycr

Sourdough Bread Not Rising

I started a sourdough starter using only bleached white flour and warm tap water 2 days ago. On the first day it just had a few bubbles, but by this morning it had a huge number of bubbles on top, white foam, and a very large amount of liquid sitting on top with a strong smell similar to soured milk. I decided to try making a loaf out of it, since even though it was extremely early it matched the description of "ready" I had read in several articles. I fed it a extra cup of flour and an extra cup of water, and let it sit for a few hours. It again grew very bubbly and foamy on top with liquid, and so I took one cup, added shortening, salt, and sugar, and kneaded in flour until it was about perfect dough consistency (or at least I, never making a loaf of bread but cooking quite a bit of other things in the past, think was perfect - wet but not so wet that it sticks to things and leaves dough behind). I let it rise in the oven with the light on after heating it on 150 for 60 seconds to give a little warmth, letting it sit for about 4 hours. It didn't rise the slightest bit, and there was a shell-like layer of hardened dough on the outside. Does anyone know what I did wrong? Perhaps the oven heat was too much and it cooked it a slight bit, killing the yeast? I'm not sure, since the starter seems very healthy, though it doesn't rise much.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And I don't think it has changed any. The sourdough is still too young (if it was only flour and water) and there isn't enough yeast but you can still save the loaf and it's worth it with all those developed flavors already in it!

I think you should take 2 teaspoons of instant yeast and dissolve it into a tablespoon of water. Then flatten out your dough like a pizza and smear the yeast all over it, roll it up and knead it a few minutes. Then rub it with some oil (this keeps the skin from drying out) and place in an oiled bowl to rise. Cover the bowl too.

Now your starter.. It is easier to get a starter going with whole grains because they contain more yeasts than bleached white wheat. Let us get that loaf saved first.

Mini O

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Your starter needs time to develop, and need to consistently triple in size in about 8 hours after feeding before you can use it for bread.

Since this is your first bread baking ever, I'd get some practice with regular yeast breads (maybe this one: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf

This will give you a good idea of the process, and you will better know what to look for when your sourdough is up and running.
Good luck!

andycr's picture
andycr

I'll let the starter develop for a few more days until it rises more. At least I know I have very little chance of killing it unless I starve it or bake it now that it's started.

About the loaf - I don't have any yeast on hand. Would it turn out OK (or at least edible) if I baked it as is?

 Thanks

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Stick it in the refrigerator and get some yeast as soon as possible.  

Mini O

andycr's picture
andycr

I didn't see your comment in time, so I put it in the oven anyway. Strangely, once it got in the oven it started rising and rose to about 1.5 times it's normal size. I let it cool and tasted it. It's definitly sourdough, and it's pretty good! The crust isn't very crispy and the inside is a bit too doughy (I took it out too quickly), but it seems to have worked out.