The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bringing my recipe to the sourdough clinic. Loaf did not rise much

Miller's picture

Bringing my recipe to the sourdough clinic. Loaf did not rise much

At last I managed to make sourdough bread that was not too bad in texture and taste.

The only problem with it was that it didn't rise much. It was as flat as a ciabatta. I know that this must be one of the most common questions asked here and I thought I could seek some expert advice from you folks.

Here are my notes for the recipe.

The temperature during the daytime was about 23º C (73º F) and at night I guess it fell down to 16º C (61º F).

Starter: 100% rye flour
Quantities: Starter 25g
Fed with: 40g bread flour and 40ml water
Feeding time: 10 hours overnight (20:00 to 06:00)
Second feed: N/A
Feeding time: N/A

Total after feedings: 100 g

Salt: 1 tsp
Flour: 307 bread flour
Water 190 ml (excluding starter)

Process start: 06:30
The starter was very bubbly on top not so much at the sides of the container, about doubled in size and smelled sour.

Mixed ingredients and left them in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.
At 07:00 first stretch and fold inside bowl, with wet fingers and spatula.
At 08:00 second stretch and fold inside bowl, with wet fingers and spatula.
At 10:00 third stretch and fold on lightly moistened worktop with wet fingers and spatula.
At 12:30 fourth stretch and fold on lightly floured worktop with dry fingers and spatula. Shaped into a boule.
Placed in lightly floured banneton seam side up. Floured the top of the dough lightly.
Covered banneton with cling wrap and placed banneton in a plastic bag.
Placed banneton in fridge.

Next day:

At 06:50 removed the dough from the fridge. Preheated DO to 220º C.
At 07:07 scored the dough and placed it in DO. [I forgot to spray the inside of the DO with water as I meant to do]
At 07:20 reduced the temperature to 215º C.
At 07:32 removed the DO lid.
At 07:45 finished baking.
Rested loaf for 45 minutes before cutting it.

Some points to note: The proofed dough coming out of the fridge had risen very little (almost imperceptibly). It was relatively flat. When I scored it I saw that it was sticky and moist inside the cuts. I didn't really let it come to room temperature, because I was afraid its floppy state would worsen over time.

WatertownNewbie's picture

I focused on this line: "Mixed ingredients and left them in a covered bowl for 30 minutes."

What did you do during this mixing?  In particular, did you merely make sure that all of the flour had touched water?  Or did you work the dough a little -- or a lot, which would be better -- and was it done by hand?  You need a structure to contain gas, and without that structure your starter has nothing to hold the expansion.

When I began baking sourdough, I found that my loaves were somewhat flat.  Oven spring seemed like an elusive dream.  Then I watched a couple of videos on Breadwerx and saw what Trevor J. Wilson does.  It might not seem like a lot, but he works the dough until the gluten begins to form.  When I kept working my dough until I could feel the gluten start to develop, it made all of the difference.  Oven spring appeared.  My loaves had better crumb.  Take a look at his videos.

Hope this helps.  Happy baking.


Miller's picture

I just mixed the ingredients by hand and left it alone. I thought that the long period to follow would take care of the gluten formation. Next time I'll work the ingredients a bit before the stage.

HarryR's picture

Photos at each stage, including the baked loaf and the crumb, would be very helpful. If you can provide them next bake, we can surely assist you! 



Miller's picture

I wasn't expecting anything interesting, that's why I didn't take photos, but I will next time, no matter what the result will be.