The Fresh Loaf

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Dense Compacted Bread!!!

guyshahar's picture

Dense Compacted Bread!!!

Hi Everyone


I started making Sourdough bread a couple of weeks ago.  I do not tollerate gluten, but came across an "All Natural Bakery" Spelt Sourdough bread in a local shop.  I couldn't resist trying it, and it was WONDERFUL.  Of course, I paid for it with 3 days of suffering, but I decided to make this for my wife (who also loved it) and to try a gluten free sourdough bread for myself.

For the Spelt one, I found directions on an excellent Australian site called the "Sourdough Baker".

Now, I have made a successful Spelt starter and a successful starter with brown rice flour (to make the gluten-free bread)/  They both smell great and rise fine.

I have made 4 spelt loaves and one gluten free loaf (using a combination of rice, potato, tapioca, gram and sorghum flours), and they have all had the same problem:  They rise fine during the period that they are left out on the counter, but no further when they are in the oven, and they come out with a great smell and taste, but very dense and so difficult to eat and heavy on the stomach.

Would I be right in thinking that the problem is not the starter, as there is a lot of growth in the dough before I put it in the oven?  To the latest spelt loaf, I even added a little honey, sugar and live yoghurt to the dough to see if that would help the rise, but it didn't make any difference.

This is a summary of what I am doing, which may (or may not) help to identify the problem.

1 - Putting around 150ml of lukewarm water in a bowl.

2 - Mixing in around 80-90g of starter and then 300g of white spelt flour, until it is a lump of dough.

3 - Leaving for an hour

4 - Adding and mixing in the salt (the dough is much stickier now)

5 - Leaving in a warm place for around 10 hours (the dough rises considerably during this time)

6 - Putting it by hand into the bread tin.

7 - Leaving it in a warm place for 2-3 hours - it rises back up during this time.

8 - Putting it in an oven with a bowl of water at the bottom and the sides sprayed.  Leaving for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.

9 - Taking the bowl of water out, reducing the temperature to around 160 degrees, and leaving it for a further hour or so.

Does anyone have any idea why my bread isn't rising????  Any help would be grately appreciated.

Best Wishes