The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wonky loaf

Campcraft's picture
Campcraft

Wonky loaf

Hello!

Super rookie, just learning.

has anybody have this happen to them? I am new to baking sourdough, with some big wins and some big fails (like this one)

i kneaded the dough in a mixer (dough temp went all the way up to 36C (i know, too high)

bulked it for 4 hours at 22C 

overnight retard @ 7C for 14 hour

dough felt and looked awesome until this crazy thing came out.

any tips?

suave's picture
suave

This is a typical look that is a result of an underfermented dough.  Could be your starter is not strong enough.  Could be you did not use it at its peak power.  Could be your fermentation time is not long enough.

Campcraft's picture
Campcraft

I did an overnight ferment of about 12 hours, maybe 30 min shy of 12 hours. Maybe i should do longer next time. Shoot for 16 hours?

suave's picture
suave

How long does not really matter, but the starter needs to be at its peak.  You might want to mix a stiff starter at 60-65% hydration, it's much more obvious when it's ready as compared to 100% starter.  Also, as I said, the starter could be perfectly time but the bulk fermentation may need to be longer.

Campcraft's picture
Campcraft

I havent worked with stiff starters yet, were should i go for reading on this?

thank you

suave's picture
suave

There's nothing special about them, except that the math becomes ever so slighlty more complicated.  You just mix your starter with 6 parts of water where you had 10 and go ahead.   For example, if you had 100 g of 100% starter, you make 80 g of 60% starter, made of 30 g, of water and 50 g of flour, and the remaining 20 g of water from the original recipe are added when you mix the dough. 

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Keep in mind that until your starter is more active you will struggle to make good bread with it. If the fermentation is too slow, you risk the dough breaking down before it ever ferments. When people post about their dough suddenly turning to goo, this is what happened.

One possibility is to use a pinch of active dry yeast (stir it into the levain, the part of the starter you're using in your bread) to supplement the rising power of your sourdough starter until it is fully mature and active enough to raise your bread in something  more like 4 hours.

When you are waiting for your dough to finish bulk fermentation it is very very helpful to put it in something clear, like glass or clear plastic, so you can see when the little bubbles have formed through the whole dough.

If there is little to no fermentation in your initial bulk at room temperature it doesn't matter how long your retard is, it's not going to get fermented enough in the fridge before it chills down and stops fermenting.

I don't know what stage of fermentation is appropriate before the retard, or how to recognise that, but I know there has to be a solid start or it won't go anywhere.

Campcraft's picture
Campcraft

I believe my starter is well and active. It more than doubles when feed and at its peak, before it starts to retreat. i have made some nice loafs before with it.

for this particular dough i kneaded it in mixer till window pane looked on point, during bulk the dough behaved wonderfully with a nice consistency and feel to it as i did my stretch and folds.

i really am wondering if my fridge @ 7C is not cold enough and the dough over fermented in the fridge..... all the recipes i see are really vague with temperatures and this is quite frustrating....