The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First attempt at sourdough - wet dough and minimal rise

miekenpetra's picture

First attempt at sourdough - wet dough and minimal rise


I'm brand new to sourdough and just made my first loaf. I didn't expect it to come out perfect on the first go but I want to know what I did wrong so I know how to adjust for the next go. 

I used a recipe with 775g water, 200g whole wheat flour, 800g all purpose (I used jovial einkorn all purpose), 150g levain (made with 25g rye starter 65g all purpose and 65g water) and 20g salt

The dough was very wet and stuck to everything, would not hold its shape when I tried to form it into a round. It rose a little during bulk fermentation but then I proofed for 24 hours in the fridge and it didn't rise any more. Just looked like a basket of thick pancake batter. Then when I baked it rose a tiny bit more and formed a nice crust but has the shape of a mushroom cap with a flat bottom and droopy sides. It's also quite tough and has a lot of large holes.

So, where did I go wrong?

My starter was 7 days old when I made my dough. Is it possible it was not mature enough? The recipe I used said it would be ready for bread in 7 days but to keep feeding it every day at room temperature for up to three weeks for best results.

Or is it something with the dough, like too much water or did I overwork it and break the gluten or something? Or is it overproofed?

Like I said I'm brand new to this so any suggestions would be helpful!

Thank you.


pmccool's picture

Use the Search tool to look up einkorn and you will get plenty of information about how to handle it.  Is there a reason you selected that instead of regular AP?


miekenpetra's picture

I’ve decided to start baking my own bread for health reasons and was suggested einkorn as a healthier, better quality choice than regular flour. 

It didn’t occur to me it would act differently, thanks for the tip!

DanAyo's picture

If your starter is only 7 days old, the best bet would be the starter is not active enough yet and/or the Einkorn flour caused the problem.

Your formula calls for 79% hydration. Even with 200 grams of whole grains flour that is s very high for a first time attempt.

I suggest continued feeding of your starter and when you do bake drop the water back to 70% for your first bake. That means using 681 grams of water (not counting your Levain water).

Good catch, Paul. I know nothing about Einkorn. Go with pmccool’s suggestion.

Pictures are always a great help. If you have some, please post them.


miekenpetra's picture

Thanks Dan, I’ve seen on a couple of other posts here that the suggestion is to start lower hydration and work your way up. I’m going to try again in a week when my starter is a little more mature and use a lower hydration recipe. 

And I’ll look up einkorn as well. 

I have a photo but this site isn’t letting me upload from my phone. Will try to post later when I’m at a computer.

thanks again!