The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can’t find out what the problem is :(

nesika's picture

Can’t find out what the problem is :(


I am so happy I found this place and I hope you can help!

I am a novice in sourdough baking but determined to succeed. Baking bread feels good - almost like a therapy, but sometimes it could be frustrating :( Like this morning.

I shaped my bread last night and put it to the fridge. It was pretty unmanageable and sticky, but I thought cold would help.  This morning I couldn’t even take it from banneton, It got stuck and broke, half stayed in banneton. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture :(.  The best way to describe it - it looked like my starter! 

What did I do wrong? What on earth happened?


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Welcome! You came to the right place to get help with your baking.

It sounds like one or two, or all of the following: your dough was too hydrated, the gluten was insufficiently developed, or the dough was overfemented. If you share more details about your process, including the formula and how you worked the dough, and how it felt and each stage, it might help narrow it down.

Also for the future, as a general rule, if the dough is too sticky to shape, putting it into a banneton is a recipe for disaster like this, you might be better off dumping it into a bread pan/tin. Or you need a lot of dusting flour to prevent it from sticking, but then it's likely to become a pancake when taken out of the banneton anyway.

Benito's picture

I agree with everything Ilya has said.  Sharing the details of your recipe, the timing, temperature etc. you will get better help, without those details it would be hard for anyone to give you specific guidance as to what to change.

In terms of sticking to the banneton, using rice flour I’ve never had an issue with sticking.  For me, rice flour is the best dusting flour for bannetons.  I will dust the banneton and the top of my dough before placing the dough in the banneton.  Ilya is correct, time in the banneton won’t make the dough less sticky than it was before it went into the banneton.


phaz's picture

With the amount of info given, one can only say something went wrong. As the devil can be found in the details, give lots of details - on everything. Enjoy! 

nesika's picture

for welcome note and for a wish to help. It feels good to be here!

I will try to give more info:

1. Instructions are in Spanish, so it would not help you much, but there are some details that might be helpful:

2. Dough passed gluten test

3. Yes it was very sticky, wet, and unmanagable

What is confusing is the fact that some doughs (ciabatta) are even more hydrated, but work just fine.

4. Starter was rye but freshly fed and active

5. Kitchen temperature was 20 C (60 F) and fridge temp was 4C (39F)

Looks to me it was overproofed, but how can I be sure ;-(

Maybe first proofing was short ...

Thanks again





nesika's picture

Hi again, I think next time I will write each step in detail and then, if it goes wrong again, will take a pic will let you know all the details


Thanks again for your help