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Sourdough rising problems

(24 Posts)
JanewaysBun Tue 26-May-20 18:02:41

Hello all
I'm getting a really good rise in my sourdough on both proves but In the oven it goes flat. Is my dough too wet maybe? It tastes really good but is a bit like a frisbee. I'm just using the BBC recipe - will add a pic

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Blondie1984 Wed 27-May-20 03:05:25

Do you do shaping before the second prove? It looks like you need to build more tension into your dough

Blondie1984 Wed 27-May-20 03:19:37

Try looking at the Bake With Jack website -

Wasabiprawns Wed 27-May-20 03:44:21

Are you baking on a stone? Baking stones need to be heated for at least 30 minutes. Or heating up the baking sheet sufficiently enough before putting the bread in the oven?

Cocomobile Wed 27-May-20 04:30:18

I think it could be under proofed and also you need to improve your shaping and build better surface tension. Which could also be related to your gluten development. Are you achieving windowpane? Maybe post pictures of what your shaped dough looks like before baking.

Too much hydration is not a problem in itself, it’s whether you have the dough handling skills for that hydration. If you think you don’t, then try a lower hydration dough and see if you can shape better

What are your endpoints for bulk fermentation and final proofing?

Cocomobile Wed 27-May-20 04:32:44

I’d also generally say your bread looks under baked. The crust colour is a bit pale. Are you scoring your loaves? Scoring definitely helps with oven spring.

Are you steaming your oven? Again will help with oven spring.

Last thing is are you sure your starter is active enough? There are a couple of tests that it should pass before you use it to make bread (floating, how fast it doubles after feeding)

andyoldlabour Wed 27-May-20 13:54:31

If you are using a metal baking tray, is it deforming after a couple of minutes in the hot oven, because this will flatten a loaf.

Pomegranatemolasses Wed 27-May-20 14:17:17

I've found the most successful method is a slow proving overnight in the fridge, in a bowl or other suitable mould.

Then bake straight from the fridge for best results.

whataboutbob Wed 27-May-20 23:04:58

Not trying to cause confusion, but overproved bread can look like that. Flat, and with a pale crust. You can work out if it’s overproved before putting in the oven. Push a finger in by about 1 cm. If it leaves a dent, it is overproved. The dough should bounce back over a few seconds. It is overproved if it has risen so far that the gluten structure has become compromise and the little air cells have burst. It’s happened a few times to me lately and I find the best thing to do is make breadcrumbs and start again. Prove for a shorter time, or let it rise in the fridge overnight. Good luck.

Reallybadidea Wed 27-May-20 23:17:43

I find that dough made with very strong Canadian bread flour, which has a higher gluten content, holds its shape better in the oven. Proving in a fridge helps too, as others have said.

whataboutbob Thu 28-May-20 13:33:10

@Reallybadidea, I agree, I use Canadian flour too.

northernstarsoutherncross Fri 29-May-20 03:28:18

The flour I use makes a big difference. Even different brands of bread flour. I have a bread machine and use that to knead the dough, then the second prove is in the fridge overnight. I went from a dense flat loaf to a pillowy soft one inside a crisp crust when I changed flour. The dough is sticky and that seems to make the best loaf.

JanewaysBun Fri 29-May-20 16:30:46

Thank you all really appreciate your help!
Blondie thanks I will check the website out. I think I need to work on the shaping/tension as it's quite floppy until the oven

I prove for 4 hrs then for 8 hrs. I do get the spring back, then use a metal tray and steam but tbh I never pre heat the tray.

I've also never achieves window pane so may need to revise my whole kneading technique...

I will try the fridge idea as I had a good result with sourdough foccacia recently from the fridge
I'll check my percentages but I might try a lower saturation next time

OP’s posts: |
whataboutbob Fri 29-May-20 18:32:30

I think if you achieve window pane the whole structure will be stronger and this shows the gluten is well developed. Personally I withhold salt, then I knead for 5 minutes, rest for 10-20 then add the salt at the second kneading stages and knead for another 5 minutes, that seems to work and will result in window pane when you stretch some dough between your fingers.

Duckchick Fri 29-May-20 18:43:37

Mine goes like that when either it's overproved, or when it's wetter and not shaped tightly enough. 8 hours sound too long for the 2nd prove to me, my 2nd prove is usually shorter than my first or it's overproved.

If the problem is that it's not shaped well the quickest fix as a pp has said it to finish it off proving in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning. Colder dough holds it shape better and doesn't go flat as quickly when you tip it out the banneton.

With kneading, are you leaving it to autolyse before you knead it? If you leave it for 30 min or so it's much easier to get the right result, it doesn't need kneading as long. A couple of stretch and folds after 30 min and an hour ish should then be enough to fix it.

Duckchick Fri 29-May-20 18:50:00

One more thing, what temperature are you baking at? Are you starting high and then dropping which I find helps keep shape, or keeping the temperature the same the whole way through?

JanewaysBun Fri 29-May-20 19:50:55

Thanks guys
Bob I will try your kneading technique!

Duck in baking 30 mins at GM7 then 15 at GM6. I autolyse for about 1 hr just bread and water then add the rest.

I will also try a shorter 2nd prove in the fridge. I might need to revise my kneading technique - may be it's being over knead3d? I do a good 15 mins pounding

OP’s posts: |
Duckchick Sat 30-May-20 09:31:42

@JanewaysBun if you want to maximise oven spring, then you want to start hotter. You then need to turn the oven down quite a lot to stop the crust burning. A lot of recipes suggest 250 C for maybe 5 min and then 180 C fan for the rest of the baking time (e.g. here ). My oven doesn't go as hot on the steam setting, so I do 10 minutes at 230 C, and then turn down to 180 C fan. After the 10 minutes I open the door briefly to let some of the heat out and it then takes another 25 minutes or so to bake the loaf at 180. (Don't start this hot with enriched doughs, the sugar means they burn more quickly).

Your oven will heat up / cool differently so will probably want different lengths of time, but if you are having problems with oven spring I'd definitely try starting hotter.

Are you kneading by hand or machine, I do 7 or 8 minutes in my food mixer? The gluten will continue to develop throughout your first prove so if you are cutting that a bit short that might also be part of the problem.

JanewaysBun Tue 02-Jun-20 13:32:27

Thanks duck! I will try the heat settings you suggested.

I was doing about 15 mins of kneading however have just tried the bake with Jack recipe and it has come out better than my previous attempts (pic attached/still not perfect). There s actually no kneading at all with this recipe which is interesting.

Will lower my liquid percentage next time as I realised I haven't got the skill to control 70% so might try 65

OP’s posts: |
JanewaysBun Tue 02-Jun-20 13:33:04

A bit wonky but inproved!

OP’s posts: |
whataboutbob Wed 03-Jun-20 13:29:26

Looks good- a lot better!

Duckchick Thu 04-Jun-20 19:01:03

That looks much better, you must be pleased.

With the big holes you are getting that happens to me when I leave the 2nd fermentation too long. I think there can be other causes, if you Google 'sourdough uneven crumb' various articles come up with suggestions and maybe one of them will ring true for you.

Chan100 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:54:02

i have been suffering with shoulder pain , chest pain, back pain for three months. I called to gp she said its gastric problem ..
after a few days, I found lumps in armpit .feels like rubbery (bump and like extra skin) and painless.lumps is there since my delivery for almost two years. at first, I thought its part of the skin. I never thought it was the cause of concern for one week getting armpit pain and muscle pains.

whataboutbob Sun 07-Jun-20 17:47:55

Hello chan100. Have you posted in the wrong thread? I hope you have informed the GP about the lumps. Post again in Health if you haven’t done so already.

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