The Fresh Loaf

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Any help appreciated!

BirdnDiz's picture

Any help appreciated!

My sourdough loaves aren’t turning out exactly how I wish.I mean,they’re not bad but the middle is still a tad moist and the spring isn’t great.

I feed the starter Thursday & Friday,usually evening time,tonight was 170gstarter/170g unbleached AP flour/170gH2o.I fed it tonight at 7.30pm,will probably start the process tommorrow at midday.

30mins Autolyse


538g water




Mix starter and salt.

Wait 30mins,fold.

Possibly some more folds depending on consistency.

After approx 6-8 hours first proof,I refrigerate overnight.

In the morning I turn oven up to highest setting,wait 15-20 mins to get hot,Cover the dough and let steam for 25mins..then uncovered for 30-40mins.

After the initial,covered bake there isn’t enough...”explosion”,spring and the middle isn’t “airy”..

Any help appreciated !


Ford's picture

I would use AP flour for the starter and Bread  flour for the dough.  I would check the internal temperature of the loaf before removing it from the oven.  The internal temperature should be 195ºF - 206ºF  (91ºC to 96ºC)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

kept?  And after feeding?  Does it take 17 hours to peak? (7:30 pm to 12:30 noonish))

I suspect the starter is fed too little flour. If a  1:1:1 feeding ratio is taking so long try reducing the starter portion by at least half if not more and feed more flour and water to get 220g starter. 

Try 20g starter and 100g each water and flour at 76°F.  (1:5:5) When it peaks, repeat.  That should help increase yeast in the starter.

FueledByCoffee's picture

I would concur with MiniOven on the starter feedings.  I often feed my starter twice a day at 1:4:4 and it peaks in less than 12 hours at that feeding.  So if you're feeding 1:1:1 and only once a day then you probably need to adjust your feedings and feeding schedule to really get your culture healthy and producing enough gas to raise a loaf.  The other part of what you said that indicates your starter isn't receiving the care it needs is the 6-8 hour first proof.  It probably should not be taking this long for your loaves to be ready to go into the retarding stage. Furthermore you said that you feed it Thursday and Friday, I assume this means the rest of the week it is in your cooler?  If this is the case it may be wise to take it out on Wednesday at least for the next couple bakes and try to get some more consistent feedings going before getting to the mixing stage.

Also, you may want to try increasing the amount of flour that is preferemented in your formula.  You're at about 11% which is fine for the tartine style high hydration loaves that are using a young starter but your hydration is only 65 or so.  You're sort of in between two styles of sourdough baking and it doesn't seem conducive to consistent results.  This isn't to say that the formula you are using can't produce good bread but I think you should try getting your prefermented flour up in the 15-20% range.  You should experience a faster first fermentation this way.

Lastly you said that you only pre heated your oven set up for 15-20 minutes.  If you're using a dutch oven set up I have always found it better to wait 45-50 minutes to really allow your entire set up to get up to temperatures to achieve the best oven spring.  I know I've seen some other ways of going about this but from my experience a well preheated oven/cloche/dutch oven yields the best results.

Hope this helps, add some pictures to show your progress!