The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Giant hole in my Sourdough

Trish's picture
Trish

Giant hole in my Sourdough

Hi everyone, 

 

Long time follower, first time poster! I'm Trish, been a chef in Dubai for 6 years and I'm attempting to build up my bread skills.  But I feel very defeated.

I have made 2 starters one with plain strong white flour, one that's a mix of both strong white and whole wheat. 

Both are developed and float in the float test. 

But there's this huge whole in my bread and it blows out the bottom of my loaf. This is my second attempt.

Whats going on? What am I doing wrong here or am I missing? Taste wise it's good but the shape goes from round to UFO!

PLEASE HELP!

Trish 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Trish, whenever possible please include pictures. Can you provide any for this bake?

Thrilled to see your first post. Ask away. Even if we don’t know the answer, we’ll do our best to make something up. NOT, just kidding... Welcome.

Dan

Trish's picture
Trish

 

 

Hi Dan, 

 

Thanks for the reply! 

 

Below is a close up of my giant sourdough cavern! 

 

Let me know your thoughts! 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

my first guess: Most likely it hasn't had a long enough bulk fermentation.  See that dense area around the big bubble?  It looks like gasses haven't developed evenly yet in the surrounding dough.  A more general picture including a cross section framed by crust might help.  I'm also guessing you're working inside an air conditioned room, what are the real room temps of the starter and dough?

More Q's

how old is the starter?

how are you feeding it?

what was the time line on this loaf?

oh, and Welcome to this yeasty wild corner of the unetverse!   (New word!). :)

Trish's picture
Trish

Hi Mini :)

Thanks for the great welcome!

So let me break it down further....

My starter is 2 wks old. So it's in its infancy so to speak. But she floats well and smells lovely :) 

I'm feeding it with strong white flour once a day with equal parts water and flour. 

I did the bulk prove for 4 hours then the whole slap-down thing then another 3.5 hrs proving in the basket. Baked at 230°C with steam. Total bake way 40ish minutes until I hear the hollow sound once tapped. I think this is where the issue lies?? Maybe I ought to prove it for an additional 1 or 2 hrs?? This is me guessing... Your wisdom here would be brill! 

Notable mentions:

I live in Dubai and it pretty much as hot as the face of the sun some days as it's July so yes AC is on but at a steady 24°C.

Let me know if you need more info. 

Thank you!! 

Trish's picture
Trish
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

got rushed a bit.  Let's try an experiment. Take about 20g of peeking starter, combine with 40 g water and 60g flour with a pinch (0.6g). salt.  Play with it in your hands to make a soft dough mini bread.  Now pack it into a straight sided glass and level it out.  (you know where this is going....).

This would be a small version of a 1,2,3 sourdough loaf. You can easily look it up here and make comparisons as you watch the dough.  Tape paper or tape on the side of the jar and mark the level of the dough and note the time.  You will watch this over the day so don't start this at night.  Start early for not much will happen the first 4 hours or so.  Then mark every hour noting the speed at which the dough rises.  Take in aromas (do keep loosely covered to prevent evaporation) and watch the bubbles forming against the glass, note their sizes and shapes.  Anywhere from pinholes to pinheads, round to irregular.  When almost up to double (double is often too much for sourdough bulk ferment if this were a loaf) deflate or tip out and reshape and pack into the jar again.  A second tape is needed for recording this next rise.  I am assuming everything is happening at 24°C.  If the water and flour is cooler or warmer be sure to note that.  Cool flour and water will slow down fermentation and warm will speed things up. 

With this experiment you can get some idea of how a 123 sd will behave in your conditions.  When the second rise is almost double about 4/5 risen, use it into a larger recipe as the starter minus the pinch of salt.  Try making a larger 123 dough and continue only for the second rise, shape a loaf and make this the final proof.

This experiment will also help you judge more about how large the flour portions should be for the starter or if the starter needs some yeast "pepping up."

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Please photograph your experiment at different stages, if possible. I for sure, and I think others would really like to see your results.

Mini has a way of simplifying things, even those that seem complicated.

Dan

Trish's picture
Trish

Hey everyone! 

Round 3 and I've found more success! 

 

1) my bulk proof was for 6 hours in a dark place (my oven) and it did pretty much double in size. 

2) I formed the loaf and retarded the dough in the fridge overnight. 

3) I pulled the load out and left it stand in my kitchen for 3 hrs. 

4) baked for 20 mins at 240°c then then turned down the heat for 25 mins at 220°c and that seemed to do the trick! 

 

Thanks for all the tips guys! 

Your feedback bread fans! 

 

 

 

Portus's picture
Portus

... as these obstacles are, the reward is doubled when a solution manifests, so good luck with your baking endeavours!

I had similar holey experiences including gummy crumb and, after a lot of research, concluded that my heavy-handedness with diastatic malt was a likely cause as it affected the Falling number. This link leads to a decent image and commentary about this confounding topic!

https://www.perten.com/Products/Falling-Number/Applications/Flour-milling-and-baking/

Portus's picture
Portus

Delete; duplicate post

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

beefing up the yeast in the starter 

how did the experiments come out?