The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough woes

vegicuisine's picture

sourdough woes

In January I started my first batch of sourdough starter.  The taste evolves weekly and is delicious.  Within the last month I've noticed that after kneeding, the bread seems to get very sticky and rises so fast I can't keep up with it.  I've tried adding more flour before and after the kneed, but it seems to suck in the moisture from the air or something and just gets stickier.  It rises so fast that I punch down and let it rise about 3 times, which actually seems to develop the flavor more but also makes it difficult to manage.  My last problem is that it doesn't seem to rise in the oven.  I score the loaf just before putting it in and when I pull it out it doesn't even look as  though it's been scored.  Any thoughts or suggestions on any of these oddities? 

SourdoLady's picture

It sounds to me like it is overproofing. To slow it down, use less starter in your recipe. How much starter does the recipe call for? You will have to experiment, but you can start out with a very small amount of starter--even a spoonful. You will have to adjust the flour and water in the recipe to make up for using less starter.

vegicuisine's picture

Thank you.  That makes sense.  I will cut back on the starter.  I know it is much more active than it used to be.

KosherBaker's picture

Hi VC.

May I suggest that you share some details about the bread in question. Perhaps listing the recipe.  Specifying the total proof time. Specifying the proof time between folds and maybe the final proofing time.

wadam's picture

One thing you might think of is doing your primary fermentation in the refrigerator.  It's something that I picked up with BBA's pain ancienne, but I do it with all sorts of breads now with pretty good results.  It should also increase the sourness of your sourdoughs, if that matters to you at all.