The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Doughballs are flat with starter!

hotsawce's picture

Doughballs are flat with starter!

So I've made some very successful pizza dough recipes using the starter the forum helped me cultivate properly.

Recently, I did a version of my normal dough recipe with starter rather than ADY in a very large batch (25lbs of flour.) 

I made a whole wheat levain early in the day that was 1 part seed starter fed with 1 part flour and 1 part water. It grew to double its size in 2 to 3 hours and floated in the water in the mixer - so it certainly appeared ready to use.

I mixed lightly, added the flour, and let autolyse for 30 minutes. I then added the salt and mixed until silky smooth. 

I let bulk for 2 hours with very little activity. I then balled and the balls came together very smoothly and looked to hold well.

then things got strange - almost no rise after hours at room temp, and the balls starter to flatten out and look "pancake" like in the trays. 

Does anyone have any ideas what may have caused the dough to behave this way? I would think it's a levain issue as the same recipe with ADY never results in slack dough balls that flatten out in the trays. That being said, its unexpected as the levain looked active, strong, and floated. I used Tartine's recommended 15% amount, with about 60% water (to push me up to total around 65% hydration) and 2.5% salt. So it's not overly hydrated...I wonder if maybe the dough got too warm?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I just can't wrap my head around what caused this...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You will want to find Debra Wink's comments.