The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Holey Moley....my bread is looking like this

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Holey Moley....my bread is looking like this

Disclaimer: it is the end of the school year (ish) and I have become an impatient person most of the time when I'm not with children.  (I save my patience for the kids) Made my standard FWSY Overnight Country loaf and this is the result.  Flavor is great, but it is flat,chewy and holey. It is cool here - 17dC maybe not a long enough ferment? Maybe my starter is sad? (it has been neglected lately, but I gave it 2 good feeds before I made this, and it looked bubbly and happy) <sigh> Admittedly I was distracted with chasing the grandbaby around but this is one of my old standby loaves.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Starter/Levain maturity or bulk ferment. 

Make sure your starter is firing on all cylinders by giving it a few good feeds and allowing it to fully mature each time. Just in case it's tired and the yeast activity is low.

Same when you make a levain. Don't jump the gun and make sure it's fully mature. 

When bulk fermenting give it the time it needs and it should be aerated and billowy. 

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Thanks Lechem.  I'll pull the starter out of the fridge for a few days and feed it more regularly and see if that changes things. (in addition to adding more patience to the bulk ferment) I have another loaf ready to hit the oven and it did the bulk ferment in the fridge overnight but it doesn't seem ready either, I'll leave it out on the counter for a couple of hours and see if that helps, if not I'll have my answer.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Add a tiny bit of dry yeast to the dough and see how it turns out. That might tell you if the yeasts in your starter aren't strong enough to properly rise dough. You'll still get the yummy flavour and benefits from the bacteria in the starter but might need the little extra boost for now.

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Thanks!  I'll try it if I need more bread before the starter is ready.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

That is the classic look of a loaf made with a new starter that is not quite ready to raise a loaf properly!  Feed it a few times on the counter at room temperature  - 84 F is best....and all will be well in Fraenkel Land again!

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

There are maybe 2 days a year when it gets that warm here in North Vancouver BC.  My house is 76 dF today and it is HOT.  The starter will have to adapt ;-) It has been fed, and is sitting on the counter.  I'll feed it again in the morning.  It's not new, but has been in the fridge and somewhat neglected for the last little while. Thanks Dab -Carolann

IPlayWithFood's picture
IPlayWithFood

If you have a microwave or other enclosed space, chuck the starter/proofing dough in it with a cup/bowl (depending how large your enclosed space is) of boiling water, which raises both the temperature and humidity (:

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

96 F today here in frigid AZ.  I think the record here is like 135 days in a row over 100 F .  That was the year we didn't have a monsoon.  

My daughter is moving to Seattle at the end of the year and we are looking forward to getting out of the heat several times in the summer.

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Classic underproof:  tight crumb accompanied by large blowout holes, with underbrowned crust.  The only solution for underproofing is more proofing.

Since you're finding room temperature isn't working, I recommend the Brod & Taylor proofing box (https://brodandtaylor.com/folding-proofer-and-slow-cooker/).  It made all the difference for me.  It's the one tool I can't live without (except for all the others).