The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First sourdough wasn't good

Lemonie's picture

First sourdough wasn't good

UPDATE: I cut the loaf to freeze for toast and after the first couple of slices the inside was fine.  Perhaps I need to adjust my cooking time?


I made a sourdough starter following this method .. .. using equal amounts of water and flour.

I used my usual bread recipe of:

175g bread flour 14% (35)
325g all purpose flour 12% (65)
2 tsp 12g salt (2.4) - was 16g (3.2)
14g yeast (2.8)
114g warm water (22.8)
216g warm milk (43.2)
34g butter (6.8)

I removed the yeast and used 140g of starter and deduced 70g of flour and 70g of water.  The dough was fine but the first rise took about 4 hours and the second around 3 hours.  I thought it might be that it was a new starter.  The bread baked lovely but when I cut it the next day it was already stale.  Like day 3 of a normal loaf before I slice and freeze any left for toast on day 4.  I cooked it exactly as I do normally and need some tips on where I may have gone wrong or where best to look to fix it?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Why not try a dedicated sourdough recipe which isn't enriched? 

Converting even a lean dough for a first try is running before you can walk. 

Have you heard of Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

properly, then I see the rise times a little bit short.  I would have expected the first rise to take a bit longer.  Perhaps the fermenting times are short.  Got any pictures of the crumb?  How old is the starter?  How does it behave?

I don't see anything wrong with your conversions except that sourdoughs do behave a little bit differently than yeast-only doughs. The bacteria in the culture can relax the dough more and simple folding the dough onto itself and reshaping the loaf during the fermenting is sometimes needed to keep the loaf rising more "up" than "out."  So the instructions during the rise will vary greatly depending on the amount of liquids in the recipe.  

If going by feel, I like the sourdough just a wee bit stiffer than a yeasted loaf as the sourdough tends to feel "wetter" as it ferments.  What is nice about using this recipe, you can make both sourdough and yeasted and compare their similarities and differences.

I prefer less salt, 8 to 9g per half kilo flour but that wouldn't influence the recipe much.  Unsalted butter?