newbie needing to perfect sourdough
made a few loaves a few years ago with limited success and am having another go. ive created a rye starter and am using the 'bake with jack' scrapings method, where theres no discard.
starter doubles overnight now and thats when i mix. first loaf looked like this which i was happy with, but maybe a bit of a gummy texture, a bit like a crumpet if that makes sense....
the recipe i use is 'bake with jack' beginners sourdough
spurred on by this, a few days later i had another go. ok, i got my slash wrong :-/
but the crumb wasnt as good as the previous one, gummy again with big holes. i asked around and someone mentioned i should have knocked it back. however, ive never dont this and the recipe doesnt call for it. do you think i should have done this?
could you give me some advice as to how i can improve my loaves please?
Do you let it completely cool before you cut it?
When it comes out the oven the inside is still cooking and if you cut it before this is finished you disturb this process with as a result gummy bread.
no, i leave it to cool down completely, a good few hours.
If you’d like us to help you, can you share the recipe you used?
(No, don’t make me watch a whole video, just share the recipe please :D)
certainly, here it is.....
just thinking.... i also bake straight from the fridge, i dont let it get to room temp the next day, would this have a negative effect?
I believe most here who do a cold retard in the fridge bake directly out of the fridge. The cold dough is much easier to score and it improves the oven spring.
ok, ill continue to do so then, thanks.
im just trying something slightly different tonight. just fed my starter and will leave it overnight (im in UK), and at the same time ive just mixed my flour/water/salt (same measures as the recipe).
this is purely because ive been reading a few web recipes, watching (trevor wilson) youtube videos, and trialling an overnight autolyse.
in the morning, hopefully the starter will have doubled and ill 'dimple' it into the mix, then either stretch and fold or do that 'rubaud' scooping method for 10 mins or so and then go from there.
lets see how that compares......
I love the overnight autolyse.. but don't forget to keep it cold or add salt to stop toooo much activity!
i havent put it in the fridge, its on the worktop, and the salt is in the mix now. ill just add the starter tomorrow. its an experiment, if it goes wrong so be it but you got to try these things havent you :-)
People on here are quick to call flattened loaves overfermented when I usually suspect the problem is lack of gluten development, but THIS looks like overfermentation to me. My overfermented loaves always come out with good spring but gummy insides with large holes. My recommendations:
Also, it just occurred to me while re-reading the recipe, he specifically mentioned he uses the fan, or "convection" setting in his oven. Do you have a convection/fan oven, and are you doing the same? If not, bake times will need to be increased.
noted, thank you. ill try and incorporate both of those suggestions, may not be able to to do the folds every 90 mins today due to work commitments, but ill at least try and shorten the overall 'room temp' fermentation from 6 and a half hours to an hour shorter say. and ill also use a bit less starter.
with the 3 changes (your two plus my overnight autolyse) id expect a difference of some sort, out of interest would an underfermented loaf look any different?
oh and to answer your other points, no my climate isnt warm/wet, quite the opposite. uk isnt very warm at present and we never have the heating on, id guess its cooler than most households. and yes its a fan oven. i always think my loaves are baked long enough, if anything a little longer than recipes call for as i like to ensure the crust is dark, plus i finish it off by turning upside down for another 5 mins to harden the base.
You're welcome! An under-fermented loaf will generally not have much ovenspring and will have a very dense, tack-like crumb, maybe hard to chew.
1st changes complete. ive autolysed flour/water/salt for 12 hours, and reduced the amount of starter. ive just used 75g, then pressed it into the dough and then did a 'rubaud' series of scoop type mixing for 5 mins or so, now leaving it for 30 mins until picking up the recipe again and doing 1st folds.
just thinking...... the way timings are going this morning, and if i reduce the total 'room temp' fermentation time by an hour, it looks like my dough will be ready for the 'overnight fridge' at around 17.00.
would you be tempted to maybe just leave it at room temp to prove for a few hrs (4?) then bake later tonight, or would you recommend still refridgerating it for maybe 16hrs then baking in the morning.
i read that once its in the fridge its pretty difficult to overprove and could actually be left there for a few days, would you agree with this statement?
well all day its been a bit 'sloppier' than usual, dunno if thats anything to do with the overnight autolyse or not? its been workable but only just.
17.00pm so ive decided to refridgerate it overnight for 13 or 14 hrs......
pre-shaped and shaped as per usual in the vido but it only just stuck together on final shape. ah well, its in the banneton now, it is what it is :-)
It may be due to the overnight autolyse allowing a touch too much enzymatic activity, but it looks well shaped! Keep us updated!
i certainly will keep you updated, i need advice :D
this is how the dough looked this morning, not too promising....
and as feared, it came out flat.....
and this is the crumb :-/
so.... im hoping that crumb will mean something to you experts. considering my 4 changes, less starter, overnight autolyse with salt, 'rubaud' scooping method for mixing the starter in and shorter ferment time, what would you say has gone wrong here?
back to original recipe and method to get back to basics, and far better......
crumbs still a bit gummy though and not sure about the holes. what do you think?
Hmmmm. If the bake is good, no chance of overfermentation, and watching the video, if you're mimicking his stretches, gluten development should be good, particularly with the Rubaud integration...then my thoughts go to the starter. How young or old is yours? I know starters have good activity in the jar early on, but personal anecdotes ahead, mine never make good bread until they're like ~3-4 weeks old or older.
Sorry for my "dartboard" approach here, I've never really taught anyone else, so all of my advice comes from n=1 tests and observations I've made on myself :D
thanks, i must admit ive never been truly happy with my starter. this ones a few weeks old now, but is kept in the fridge between feeds and hasnt had that many.
i fed it for a week with rye, was disappointed when i didnt get much action from it, stuck with it and one day i just noticed it had bubbled up nicely after about 18 hours, which i wasnt expecting, id always been waiting for a starter to be ready to bake after 4-6 hours.
i use the 'scrapings method' so theres no discard. i remove from fridge in the evening to get to room temp, hoping its ready in the morning, but this varies. sometimes it is, sometimes it can be 1 or 2pm before its finally got a few bubbles and has nearly doubled in volume. ive never had that 'wow' moment when its looked really lively and is obviously ready.
i tried the 'float test' with this last bake and it didnt float, however, it rose well in the oven as you can see.
if youre right about it being the starter, what would that mean with respect to holes in the crumb?
Ah, then we may have found the problem. If you want to give "The Pineapple Juice Solution" here on the forums a read (just search for that phrase in the search bar) it goes very deep into the science of young starters. If you don't want to read what is essentially a novella (though I personally found it fascinating) I can surmise.
Essentially, young starters, while they may appear to be active, are not necessarily so. Yeast and lacto- bacterias don't just immediately move in, you have different, somewhat undesirable (not harmful, just not what we want) bacteria that initially move in and pave the way. These bacteria cause the starter to become more acidic, which makes it more hospitable for OTHER bacteria, which make it more acidic, etc etc in a cascading effect until it is finally acidic enough for wild yeast and lacto- bacteria to flourish.
Essentially, because your starter has always been kept in the fridge and has not been fed too much, it may not have become the most ideal climate for the critters that we want in there.
I would recommend leaving it on the countertop and feeding it in a 1:1:1 starter:water:flour ratio once per day for a week, then feeding twice per day for a week, then you can try making bread with it and if you see improved results, you can return to the scrapings-fridge method.
If you're concerned about large amounts of "waste," you do not have to keep a large amount at a time. For example 15g each of starter, flour, and water will suffice just fine while "wasting" very little.
Again, I could be off the mark, I only know from my own experiences that young and immature starters can look very active in the jar and even have the "correct" smell yet still make very poor bread.
thank you very much, ill try that.
you mention 1:1:1 starter/flour/water. bearing in mind your first paragraph, youd still recommend water over the pineapple juice would you?
and lets say i have around 15g starter at present (my scrapings), could you confirm this is what youre thinking?
day 1 - mix my 15g starter with 15g/15g flour/water.
day 2 - i now have 45g starter, so bin 30g, and repeat day 1 with 15g starter.
and repeat repeat repeat etc, so im always going back to 15g starter and ending up with 45g?
and during second week say, bin a little less each time so i maybe end up with 100g starter?
have i got that about right?
thank you for your time.
I could be wrong, but I think Amara meant to continue to do the exact same feedings (mix 15g starter with 15g each water & flour, discard remaining starter), but just to repeat that feeding 2x/day during the 2nd week.
BTW, in case you aren't aware, your discard doesn't have to go into the trash bin. There are lots of yummy recipes that can be made with discard. Pancakes is one of my favorites.
thanks for the reply.
id also guess thats what was meant too, im just wondering how best to ramp that up so i end up with around 100g constant starter when the two weeks are up.
as for the discard recipes, do you think they can still be made with around 22g of discard or would that be too little?
You could put that “discard” into almost any baking recipe you’re using. Just subtract the appropriate amounts of flour/water from the recipe
thank you. and what about the 'pineapple juice' suggestion?
PJ or water do you think?
The pineapple juice idea is only for the first few days of getting a starter going. It's not for long term maintenance. Seems like you are well past where that would be useful.
You can ramp it up (or down) as fits your needs. The important thing is the ratios, not the amount. If, for example, your normal routine is to feed 1:5:5 2x/day, and you usually do that with 5g starter: 25g water: 25g flour. You'll have 55g starter on hand, but only 50g available to use in a recipe cuz you need to keep back 5g to keep your starter going. If you want to bake a loaf that requires 100g starter, you can just do a feeding with 10g starter: 50g water: 50g flour when you do the feeding before you want to begin building your dough. So 12 hrs later when it's time to feed again, you have 100g starter for your recipe, and 5g to continue your starter, and a tiny bit left over (which won't be quite as much as 5g because of loss to CO2 and evaporation and maybe some stuck to the container). I haven't actually tracked how much weight I tend to lose, so having only 5g extra might be cutting it a bit tight but it at least illustrates my point. If you need more than you can make in a single feeding (in this example 55g:275g:275g = 605g), you can start bulking up your starter 2 feedings in advance.
Discard recipes (at least most of them) will need more than 22g of discard. But the beauty of discard recipes is that they don't require the starter to be at peak. So it's totally ok to throw your discard in a container in the fridge at each feeding, and after a few days when you've accumulated enough you can make your discard recipe. The food is never totally used up in your starter by the time it's time to feed again, and the stirring it gets in the process of taking some out to feed and transferring the rest into the discard container will revitalize it some. So storing it in the fridge isn't quite similar to storing your starter in the fridge: it's good a week or more without any attention. But stirring is more like a very small feeding, so it won't get very active and it won't last as long.
and is 1:5:5 the optimal ratio for feeding starters?
thank you very much for the detailed information.
I would stick to 1:1:1 for the two weeks as mentioned above, then go to 1:2:2 or 1:3:3-- if you don't resume the scrapings/fridge method that Jack advocates. 1:5:5 is good for established, mature starters, but if your problem is that your starter hasn't reached full maturity yet, we want to dilute it as little as possible :)
ok, will do, ive just fed it 20g/20g/20g and will continue to do this daily for 1 week, and twice daily for the second week.
ill let you know how it goes.
I agree with Amara. I was told that 1:5:5 is a good ratio to aim for once the starter has fully matured. But it takes a while to get where a starter will be stable on that, and some starters may never need to be fed that much. Pay close attention to your starter and adjust as necessary. If it is consistently just a bit past peak when it is feeding time again, that's probably a good ratio for now, but as time goes on and the seasons change and you get different bags of flour, you may need to adjust again.
Since at the beginning of this post you said you were using the scrapings method, you probably want to go back to that when you can. I think the issue was that your starter wasn't quite strong enough & stable enough to do that yet. It'll get there!
well as im going to feed my starter for a couple of weeks, i thought id try some 'proper yeast' bread just for a quick loaf. it didnt go too well.
i followed this recipe that i got from google......
i should have looked more closely at the recipe, when i started weighing out i realised that 420g flour and 360g water was going to be wet!! oh well, itll give me chance to perfect my dough handling :D
anyways, even tho the recipe just says simply mix and leave, i thought id incorporate a few stretch and folds or coil folds to strengthen the gluten. that part didnt go too badly, i actually tried coil folds for the first time on what is a very wet mixture for me (85% is it?). yes it was sticky, but i was pleased with how i handled it and i did actually get proper folds in.
as it says next, i put it in the fridge for 12 hours, preshaped and shaped, but....this is where it didnt really go so well. it was still sloppy out of the fridge and didnt feel like it had any strength. with this in mind i thought id cook it in a pot rather than on a stone so i didnt get a pizza :-D
had a go at the shaping but this is how it looked just before going into the pot for the oven....
this is the crumb at the end, a poor excuse for a loaf. texture of a crumpet, gummy.
for my future learning, can you tell from the splat and then the crumb what the problem was? under/over fermented? under/overproved? and why?
maybe its a bad recipe, but i followed the timings and instructions fairly closely, even adding in my S&F's to improve it, but....... it didnt work.
i did enjoy learning to handle it tho, ive never been able to handle wet dough as well as this before.
well as promised, im reporting back after feeding my starter for another 2 weeks, at 20g/20g/20g. once a day for one week, twice for the second, with rye flour. i have to say, the starter never really took off, never looked really bubbly at any point, but......i spent the two weeks reading up on BF and proving etc, and today i made my first loaf since.
i fed my starter before bed the night before, left about 25g in, and fed it 40g/40g to get it up to 100g and left it overnight. again, in the morning i could see a few bubbles through the glass but no explosion of size. left it til around 3pm and thought this is as good as it gets, im mixing.
used the tried and tested 500g flour, 320 water, 100 starter and 9g salt. mixed the water and starter first, then put in the flour and salt. mixed it all up and left it half hour. over the next 2 or 3 hours i probably did around 4 or 5 stretch and folds and then left it alone. used my new-found knowledge on 'watching the dough' and was excited to think i was reading it well. as the hours went by it was growing, probably doubled, and getting sloppier, and i could swear i could see a line of bubbles through the side of the bowl, not yet at the top so keep waiting, waiting. few big bubbles on the top but no higher at the side so thought again, this is probably about it.
pre-shaped, left an hour, shaped and into banneton overnight. prodded in the morning, yep that seems about right, scored it and into the oven it went. exciting, i seemed to have read this and all the handling and shaping went well, this has got to be my best loaf yet! then...... hmmm....not much rise in the oven, disappointment.
this is the crumb. looks okaaaaayish, but its not risen, and is gummy as usual. i left it a few hours before cutting.
id appreciate your advice on what you think is wrong please, under/over fermented/proved?
my gut feeling is a poor starter still, but would a poor starter have given me what i thought was a good fermentation/prove still?
Honestly that looks pretty good to me. I actually dont bake straight out of the oven, I find it gives me loaves that havent risen enough and they end up with a dense, gummy texture. I always wait a couple hours for it to rise out of the fridge and then put it in the oven.
It appears to me that your loaves are under proofed. It doesn't seem that your starter is strong. I would like to suggest that you try feeding your starter with plain flour rather than rye. That way you can see better how your starter is doing. Also, maybe try letting the loaf sit in room temperature for an hour before putting it in the refrigerator.
thanks, ill try these suggestions, resting time before the fridge and after......
ive just been given some starter in a margarine tub, its been baking good loaves apparently. am i right in thinking i can keep it in the fridge, then just take out 20g maybe to make a levain, add 40g/40g flour/water and wait to double?
and once the 20g has been removed, is my best option to add another 20g and place back in the fridge? or leave it at room temp for a few hours before placing in the fridge? or not replace the 20g? how best should i look after this 'mother' starter?
what flour is the starter made from? if its rye just put it back in the fridge after you removed the amount you need. I saw you mentioned Jack in earlier posts, I just follow his methods and its pretty bullet proof.
Regarding recipes you will need to tweak it. I tried to follow Jack's method and I never got it quite right, temperature plays a major factor in bread making. Once you have a constant temp to work at then things can progress nicely.
Since it's a strong starter, I would just feed it and put it in the fridge right away.
Hi,. I started my bake with jack journey about 8 weeks ago. So everything I'm about to say may be wrong.
I had a similar frustration with my starter. I used whole wheat flour instead of rye. I did two things that seemed to get it going.
First thing, I started with old flour I had in the house. No idea how old, whether it was organic, or what. I finished that and got fresh organic flour and got instant improvement.
Second, I made a loaf and had my scrapings I then fed 40g a day with no discard for 5 days, leaving it on the counter, then made two loaves (200g starter).
I keep about 20g for my scrapings because I always seem to lose some. But since doing that it grows great. It is very stiff, and I feed the night before, so I'm not sure when it peaks. But it at least doubles.
I also bake mine about 5-10 minutes longer on the 375F step than he calls for. I have no idea if that could be the gummy crust issue. I do follow his "if it rises and tastes good, it is a successful loaf" rule, religiously. All his other rules have been flexible.
thanks for the replies. i made some bread again yesterday with the new starter, and everything about it seemed so promising, but again it turned out rubbish....
i fed 20g of new starter with 40g/40g, left overnight and it had more than doubled. good start. decided not to faff about with autolyses, nothing at all, just mixed it all, kneaded it for 10 mins (best way of mixing ingredients i thought) and left to BF. watched the dough, when i would normally have called it i left it longer, and longer, until it looked how i expect it to after a BF, bubbles up the side, maybe doubled in size, shiny and wobbles a bit if you shake it. ah this is good, im starting to read it better i think.
pre-shaped into boule, still fine, maybe sags a bit afterwards but i expect that anyway.
half hour or so later, shaped into batard, and put in fridge overnight. it probably had around 14 hours in the fridge.
seemed ok when i took it out to bake, slashed it, put it in oven on the pre-heated stone. another flat loaf grrrr......
what does this crumb suggest? still underproved?
i seem to be able to make decent yeasted loaves, but rubbish sourdough. ill maybe try and completely copy my yeasted method but with starter, and see how that compares. this means knocking it back when fermented and let it rise again, what do you think? ill try again tomorrow but im really disheartened.
oh and 'feeding the new starter and putting it back in the fridge'. if its a 200g starter, and i take 20g out, do i really only replace 20g, or do i bin half and put in another 100g flour?
You and I have completely different definitions of rubbish. That one looks good to me.
no, the pictures dont do it justice, it was poor. gummy dense texture, the crust was thick and rock hard too, it just wasnt a pleasure to eat, id like a lot 'lighter' loaf.
Underproved for sure.
Yeast don't do much in the fridge but degradation still occurs.
Let it rise more before refrigerating.
Maybe if you make French toast it can cook some of the gummy out it. It doesn't seem to harden the crust when I do it, either.
My guess is that it did not get a chance to rise enough after the final shaping. Especially if your fridge is pretty cold. From your description, it sounds like you are getting a good rise in the bulk proof. The tight crumb in the final loaf makes me think that it just needs to proof a bit (before or after the fridge) to work up some activity.
To feed the starter, I would bin half and put in another 100 grams of flour. Though that does still make a lot of starter. I would take 20 grams of starter, add 20 grams of flour and 20 grams of water. Put that in the fridge. Make pancakes with the leftovers!
thank you, ill try proving longer at room temp then.
im loathe to bin any of that starter really, but..... i spose i really ought to before i ruin it :D
At what room temperature are you making your dough? I've actually had the complete opposite experience, where if I follow the Jack method, I get really fantastic loaves, while if I try any sort of autolysed version, I get catastrophic failures.
I have no clue why. I've tried everything (to my knowledge) and I still can't seem to be able to control my dough with an autolyse the way I want.
Anyway - I've found that room temp has been one of the more important things in determining the bulk fermentation stage and thus the end result. Because the development of fermentation is logarithmic and not linear, I've found that it's hard to adjust bulk times based on ambient temperature and that's the stuff that requires lots of experimentation.
I think maybe what you and I need is also being able to tell prior to proofing how to tell from the look and feel of the dough whether we should be ending the bulk fermentation stage at that time. It's like the one thing I'm trying to understand and there doesn't seem to be a lot of good information on it. I look at Jack's dough in that beginner video and I don't think I've ever had that sort of pillowy and structured dough.
i dont have a thermometer, but the thermostat in the hall suggests its around 66/67 degrees. its old tho and may be inaccurate :-)
<<I think maybe what you and I need is also being able to tell prior to proofing how to tell from the look and feel of the dough whether we should be ending the bulk fermentation stage at that time. >>
i think youre right, but i thought i was getting better at it, thought id got it spot on, but nah, rubbish loaf again :D
i tried another 'yeasted' loaf the other day, i dont seem to struggle with those but its a different method.
for these its more of a regular recipe, mix, knead, BF for an hour, knock it back, shape and let rise in the proofing basket, bake.
with this in mind i wondered whether i could do the same method for sourdough instead of stretch and folds etc, but itd take ages to rise again if you BF for hours, then knock back and prove again i think. may try it one day when ive got loads of time.
the next loaf i tried was a trevor wilson breadwerx one, a youtube vid for getting open crumb from a stiff dough. lovely round ball he made his into. followed the recipe to the letter and..... splat :D no such round ball.....
i was so disheartened i just chucked it in the bin, i knew nothing good would have come of it.....
just trying another now, less hydration, see if i can get the basics right before slowly going wetter. made the levain in a jamjar, id say it rose 50%. not ideal is it? it went from pretty much halfway up the jar to this....
but, ill give it a go.
450g organic strong white, 250g water, 100g 50/50 starter, 10g salt. mixed and kneaded into a firm ball for 10 mins, ill now leave it overnight in the 66/67 degree hallway overnight, see how it looks in the morning.
the plan will be to just shape into a boule from that, plop into proving basket and then bake when it looks about right. if it looks to have gone too far overnight i may knock back and let rise again, im not sure whether that means the glutens no good any more tho, id like some advice on that please, can you rescue an overprove?
thanks for your help
well that came out rubbish too. can any of you experts tell me if its under or overproved?
was just about to give it all up but thought id experiment with my starter first. ive actually got 3 separate starters, all from the main one given to me, one with rye, one white bread flour etc. i left around 20g in each, then put 100g of different flours in them, and thought if these dont rise, im binning them and thats it.
i thought id be leaving them overnight, but was astonished to see the rye starter double in just 3 or 4 hours! it was the only one showing much action. i put a little marker on the level and monitored to see if itd get any higher. it rose a bit, but then 10 minutes later was below the line, which amazed me, i wasnt expecting such a tight margin, but got mixing immediately.
i tried a lower hydration, i think 450g SWBF, 250g water, 100g 50/50 rye starter, 10g salt. kneaded, then left alone to BF. when i thought it had got sloppy and airy, i found there were some pretty big bubbles, so i thought nothing ventured nothing gained, its what i do with yeasted loaves, so knocked it back and let it rise again, hoping for a more even crumb.
lower hydration was easier to handle and shape, it all went well and i was surprised to find i had good oven spring and a nice looking loaf.
by this time, the other 2 starters were actually showing signs of doubling, so i thought id gamble and experiment a bit. chose one at random, went 400/100 white/wholemeal, 300g water, 100g 50/50 white flour starterand 10g salt for a wetter dough. i thought id try that french fold slapping method. matey in the vid makes it look so easy, i was sweating away for around 25 minutes and made a right mess before it looked decent enough to put in the bowl and BF :D
i still did a couple of stretch and folds, then left it. timings were all wrong but i just put it in the fridge overnight then left it to get to room temp this morning. i thought id left it too long, it was pretty slack throughout pre-shape and shape (this one i did as a batard) and i thought it was a goner. when i put it on the stone to bake it spread out and i feared the worst, but..... it rose! i now have 2 fine looking loaves!
ive just sliced the boule and it tastes lovely. not as gummy as my other loaves either. tighter crumb, but thats what i was half-expecting after knocking it back, plus its a lower hydration.
so........i havent jacked it in yet, i live to fight another day, but, i think my problems have been weak starters. im starting to recognise what to look out for, and im amazed at the difference in timings that a bit of hot weather makes. you really do need to just watch the dough rather than the clock, thats clear to me now. its still a lot easier to make yeasted bread tho isnt it! :D
Glad you got rid of the gummy texture and have tasty loaves. My thought while reading your thread is that you are taking giant swings at changes. If you are trying to "watch your dough" for timings then making a 77% hydration and 60% hydration seems like a lot to manage. I use bake with Jack's recipe and have made 10 batches, maybe 15 loaves. I have only ever changed the timing (mostly by accident) and improving my techniques. But since it is always the same dough I have been able to feel the changes. When I made a pizza crust (like 50% hydration) it was completely different than my normal 72% hydration loaf.
thanks for your input. yes youre right, wildly different recipe and methods, i think i was just having a 'last fling' to see if i could see any success before accepting ill never make good sourdough. once i could see the starters had doubled, i was more hopeful, and that seemed to be justified.
but yes, i really need to settle on one recipe, get it dialled and then make small changes as and when. thats if my starter continues to behave :D
Your loaves look fantastic to me! It appears that you and I are in the same boat, as far as the weakish starters, but that’s kinda to be expected in the beginning. Keep at it, and I think we’ll get there! Every loaf we bake will bring new learning experiences, and improvements to our technique.
My first loaf is in the oven even as I write this. If it comes out looking half as good as yours, I’ll be thrilled. The process of putting it together yesterday was somewhat maddening. A number of times I found myself thinking “how the hell am I going to turn this mess into a loaf of bread?!?”
In about 20 minutes, I’ll get to find out if it worked ?
how did it turn out? :-)
Not as good as I hoped, but better than I feared.
With that being said, for a first loaf it was edible. It was dense and a bit gummy, although there was good gluten formation, and in a couple spots It showed a bit of nice open crumb. It was definitely underproofed. I didn’t get much rise, but it didn’t flatten out and I got a bit of oven spring, so I know that at least my shaping was good. I’m sure this will improve as my starter continues to mature.
The upside is that this sad little tough-to-chew loaf was just a stepping stone on the way to better baking. Each loaf we create provides new opportunities to learn and improve our technique. There will be failures along the way, but in time those will come fewer and farther between.
So, all in all it was a success.
Slowly increase the feeding ratio.
That will make your starter stronger.