The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough troubleshooting: over or underproofed? Or something else?

blueskyturtle's picture
blueskyturtle

Sourdough troubleshooting: over or underproofed? Or something else?

I've just started sourdough baking again after a year or two of not doing it--I've relocated since the last time I was baking. When it comes to sourdough, I'm mainly just using it for daily bread and I was turning out satisfying loaves with good spring on a consistent basis with my starter and recipe. As a result, I haven't delved deep into what's going right or wrong. Now that I'm in a new location and using a new starter (I built the most recent one with the NMNF method), I'm getting results that I'm not expecting, but which I suppose are consistent on their own.

Here's my most recent loaf:

It's a 1000g boule; I used about 210g of pre-ferment (10g starter, 100 rye flour, 100 water), with three folds every 30 minutes. Bulk fermentation was about 2 hours, pre-shape and rest, then shaped and proved for about an hour. I did the bulk fermentation somewhere near 82-84 F with a heating pad, and the proofing was around 70-72 F, the ambient temp in my kitchen. I preheated my electric oven at 500 (max it can go) with a baking steel, and once I loaded the bread and introduced some steam, dropped the temp to 450 for 30 minutes, than 375 for another 20.

I think the loaf looks a little stout and I wish that the scoring had produced ears instead of spreading. While I'm open to whatever may have gone wrong, my thought is that the issue may be that the loaf was under or overproofed. I just can't tell which side I'm on here. I'd be really grateful for any commentary/help.

Thank you very much!

Maverick's picture
Maverick

This looks like the dough wasn't strong enough to hold a tall shape. My guess is that it is high hydration. The crumb looks good, so to me it doesn't look like a fermentation issue. Are you using a banneton?

blueskyturtle's picture
blueskyturtle

Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I am using a banneton.

Numbers-wise I’m at about 510g flour and 379g water so about 74% hydration? If that’s the case, I should cut back on the water?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to see how it turns out.  

The crust color is good so not over fermented.  The crumb bubbles say the same as they tend to be roundish and not amoeba like in form and pretty much scattered throughout, no dense areas except near the lower crust middle, (seen in left crumb shot on loaf) looks weight/strength related.  Got a bottom crust shot?  Looks like the bottom crust is good about a third in from the edge and then compacts toward the middle and is lighter in color.

blueskyturtle's picture
blueskyturtle

Sure, here's a bottom shot:

I'll try dropping the hydration down this week and see how it turns out. Thanks for the feedback!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but those cracks make me think there is too much moisture trapped inside the lower center loaf after the crust is set.  

blueskyturtle's picture
blueskyturtle

Hmm...ok. If that’s the case, what should I be doing?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

dropping the hydration and see how it turns out.  Make notes.  Then try the suggestion a week later of shaping differently for a taunt loaf skin.  How do they compare?  

Sour_Flour's picture
Sour_Flour

Your crumb looks good so I don't think your proofing was wrong. Personally I think you need to shape it better with more tension creating an outer skin to give your bread more height. You can tell also by the bottom looking all wrinkly that it needs to be shaped better. My sourdough is always at 78% and you can see my example of shaping on @sour__flour on Instagram.