The Fresh Loaf

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Is it normal, underproof or overproof?

lorensiuswlt's picture

Is it normal, underproof or overproof?

Hello guys,

I've been baking sourdough for two months now but i'm not happy with the rise, almost rather flat. My starter is active (2x rise), i feed it 3 times a day with 1:2:2 ratio except for the night 1:5:5. 

This was my last bake, round/boule with ingredients

* Bread flour 350gr

* Whole wheat flour 50gr

* Water 292gr (75% hydration)

* Salt 6gr

* Levain 75gr

My schedule:

* 05:30, feed levain, 1:5:5

*12:55, autolyse

*13:20: mix levain

*13:55: mix salt

*14:20: S&F1 -> S&F6  (6x) with 20mins and 30mins separation for last three S&Fs (last S&F 16:45).

*18:00 pre shape and bench rest

*18:15 retard in fridge

*08:45 (next day) bake.

Total bulk ferment time: 4hrs if counted from mixing the salt or 4.5hrs from mixing the levain. I read somewhere that bulk ferment starts after mixing the salt and others said that it starts after mixing the levain. Ambient temperature during bulk fermentation was 24-25C and final dough temperature was 27C.

I baked using convection oven with baking sheet covered with stainless bowl for 20mins with fan off, 250C and then 20mins without the bowl 230C, fan on.

This was the pics from last baking


Before retarding

After retarding

Is that normal or underproof or overproof? What can i do to get better rise?





Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

The crumb is beautiful, I'd be happy with this bread.

For the oven spring, have you tried lower hydration? Might be easier. And while I'd say this is fermented nicely, proofing less will probably give better spring.

Does it look like the loaf is flattening immediately after turning out of the basket? Or after you score it? Or in the oven, before it grows?

lorensiuswlt's picture

Hi Illya, thank you for your response ;).

The dough seemed to have good strength after bench resting and also hold its shape well after scoring. I put it immedietly into the oven after scoring so it was flattening inside the oven. I'll try cut the bulk ferment time next time ;)


lorensiuswlt's picture

Hi Illya,

As your suggestion, i cut the bulk fermentation time 30 minutes and got better oven spring ;) 

What do you think? what cause the big hole?

phaz's picture

It sure looks like your starter is fed a lot of food - most likely too much - way too much. 

Before making another loaf, stop feeding and just stir the starter until it stops rising - however long it takes. Then start with a 122 feed once a day (adjust water to keep a wet dough like consistency) and stir vigorously every 12 hrs. When there is still a little (emphasis on little) rise at the 24 hr mark whatever the feed was is what you'd want to use for once a day feeding schedule. Then go from there. 

A strong building needs a strong foundation - same with sourdough (the starter being the foundation). Can't have one without the other. Enjoy!

lorensiuswlt's picture

Hi phaz,

Thanks for your response. The reason why i used higher feeding ratio was to lengthen the time so it would fit my schedule. I fed two starters at the same time, one for baking and one as mother starter. The mother starter was 1:2:2 and the other for baking was 1:5:5. Strangely they peak at the same time, approx 8hrs. The room temperature was rainy and quite cold (23-25C). Why did they peak at the same time?



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is most likely the present (not fully developed) gluten structure's limit.   Try a fun experiment and repeat the 1:2:2 and A second 1:2:2 just as you did but this time blend the second one longer, much longer than the first one. at least a few minutes to develop the gluten and then see how high it peaks. 

lorensiuswlt's picture

Thank you Mini Oven.

I tried your suggestion but only one starter, it peaked a bit longer than usual and it reached 2.5x level.It never reached that level before. I used to stir it quickly but stir it a little bit longer make a difference...thanks ;)