The Fresh Loaf

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When to not score bread?

CUISINED's picture

When to not score bread?

I've been baking for quite some years and just have been starting to get into the magnificent world of sourdough breads
With my instant yeast breads I am pretty happy with but taking on the sourdough breads it seems I am missing some key things and I need help :)
My starter is few months old
recipe is:
280 gr' 100% starter (12.5 gr' rye, 12.5 gr' whole, 125 gr' APF, 150 gr' filtered water)
200 gr' filtered water (bread in pictures is made with 230 gr' water)
75 gr' whole wheat flour (store bought)
75 gr' rye flour (store bought)
225 gr' apf ()
15 gr' gluten
6 gr' himalayan salt
6 gr' demerara sugar
I have made the initial dough and let it work for few hours not incorporating the salt, just before the final shape.
then I shaped it with some white flour and let it rise in a banneton basket.
It rose beautifully..
But this is the end result, so much :D
...and it happend to me twice, I can't figure it out! :)

Here are some pictures of my bread and the tools I use

starvingviolist's picture

Might be worth trying the same dough with more like 15-16 g salt, added after about an hour of fermentation. And give it a few stretch and folds to build up a gluten structure.

CUISINED's picture

Thanks alot,

I did mix the dough in mixer at low speed to incorporate and then high speed to knead

I totally agree about more salt but I am trying to reduce :D - I will add more salt next batch

Thanks for the reply!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Could you stand up the loaf in the banneton please?  It is difficult for me to compare sizes in the photo.  I suspect the banneton is too big for the amount of dough.  A smaller banneton might give you a higher shape.  Try rolling a towel around the edge under the banneton cloth to make it smaller, like a nest, to get more height on the rising dough.

See if your finished loaf fits into the bottom of the banneton,  if so, then it is too big,  more dough or a smaller banneton is required.   

I think the recipe is just fine.

CUISINED's picture

Thanks for the quick reply!

The loaf is pretty big in diameter it could sit well on the top surface of the banneton, it is huge is diameter but almost flat...

I did not include store bought yeast at all, just starter

Maybe the water to flour ratio is wrong? I was aiming for a airy sticky dough bread..

Thanks a lot for your reply :)

starvingviolist's picture

To me the hydration seems about right, a little under 70%, which shouldn't be too much with the gluten flour in there. It looks like my bread does when I let it ferment for too long, which is why I suspect the salt might help. I'm sure you can go a bit lower that I do, but I would try starting at about 15-16 g and gradually lowering it, and definitely add it sooner. Good luck!

CUISINED's picture

Very helpful :-)

I will try this and report. 

Many thanks


IceDemeter's picture

I'm looking at your recipe, and seeing either 140g or 150g (it's not clear whether you are using only 280g of the starter mix of 12.5g rye / 12.5g whole wheat / 125g AP / 150g water, or if you are using the whole amount of 150g) of prefermented flour, which is either 27% prefermented (140g out of total 515g in dough), or 29% (150g out of total 525 in dough).  Either way, it is a very high amount, which I have only seen used in either a cool working condition (say 18 deg C or less), or when someone is looking for a very quick fermentation / proof.  Leaving out the salt will make the fermentation / proof even faster, which seems counter-productive if using the sourdough starter for an increased flavour profile.

Using this table as a general rule of thumb (, and assuming that your kitchen is around 21 deg C, then the amount of prefermented flour in your recipe should have the dough double in less than 5 hours without salt --- or about 5-1/2 hours with 2% salt.  With either model, you would then have no more than 3 hours more for pre-shaping, shaping, and proofing before baking.  If your kitchen is warmer than that - say around the more common 24 deg C or warmer - then your dough will be fermenting / proofing even faster than that.

Unless your kitchen is quite cool, then I don't really understand the purpose of leaving out the salt after the starter is mixed in to the dough.  You've stated that you let the dough ferment for "a few hours" before adding the salt, and then shaping it and letting it proof in the banneton.  I suspect that the main issue that you are having is that the dough has over-fermented / over-proofed before you get it in to the oven, resulting in the flat appearance and no oven spring.

You might find that adding the salt along with the starter will give you a bit more working time, and will help to slow down the degradation of the gluten structure.  I also keep a lower salt amount in my breads (personal preference) and have no issues at 1.5 to 2% (in this case, 8-10.5g), so see no need to go higher than than.

I also see the same thing that Mini Oven mentioned, where the amount of dough appears to be too small for the dimensions of the banneton.  Her suggestion of using a towel ring inside to support the dough for upward instead of outward rising during the proof is one that I needed some time back, and can vouch for the fact that it really does make a difference in putting a "standing loaf" in to the oven instead of a "flat loaf".

Please do keep us posted on what changes you make and what the result are.

CUISINED's picture

I am new to sourdough and my kitchen these days is about 26c. I am trying a new recipe where there are only APF and my sourdough starter, looks great and I will post final baking pictures, I would have done more pictures of the process but just wanted to test this dough and it seems to work just fine

I will be posting  later

Thank you for your big support!!