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Help!!! Sourdough problems!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am a cook/ pastry chef and have been having major problems with my sourdough bread! I have been trying out different sourdough recipes and making my own starters and they just don't seem to be working. I get the dough mixed and let it rest then start the first period and it rises. I continue to knead it then shape the dough into rounds and let it proof for a second time which it does nothing but rise a hair. Then it goes into the oven at 425 for 10 min with steam and 30 with dry heat! The crust turns out crunchy but really hard and the inside is not airated at all. It is super dense and does not cook all the way! I am having the hardest time with this and have no idea what to do next! Help please! frown.gif
post #2 of 8
I had the exact same problem with non sourdough bread and figured out i was using too-hot water to bloom my yeast.
post #3 of 8

My hunch would be your kneading after the first rise...

 

For me, after the first major proofing period I flatten out the dough to a rectangle and much like making puff pastry fold it into 3rds, rotate 90 degrees and fold it in 3rds again...  (this way your putting in layers into the dough) .   Then proof again (usually and hour or 2 depending on weather).    Then shape the loaves after that proof and I let them proof in the fridge for 8-12 hours, pull them out for 4-6hours at room temperature until they rise and pressing the loaf with your finger slowly springs back but not completely... then bake.

post #4 of 8

I don't want to hijack this thread, but it sounds like I got the same problem.

The bread turns out very flat and dense (tasty though).

To my big surprise I do have a fair number of holes in the bread, but not all over.

I have blamed it on insufficient kneading after the autolyse and am in the process of making another loaf.

Fingers crossed .....

Life is too short to drink bad wine
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Life is too short to drink bad wine
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post #5 of 8

Go and visit TheFreshLoaf.com and you'll get plenty of experienced help there with your sourdough.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #6 of 8
In my case, kneading a bit longer, doing an extra french fold and letting rest and proof a tad longer solved the problem. I posted the picture in the January challenge.

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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post #7 of 8
My first guess is that your starter was not active enough to bake with. Before you use your starter scoop a teaspoon of it into a class of water. If it sinks it's not active enough to rise your dough. If it floats its ready to bake with.

After your first autolyse from the initial mixing of your ingredients. Do stretch and folds each with a 20/30 minute autolyse. It will take about 4 stretch and folds to get your dough ready for the final shaping. Tighten you loaf tightly by using tension tugs... Pulling the dough toward you on a workbench without any flour on it.

Put it in your banneton and cover it with a shower cap and put it in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Longer is better.

Bake in an oven with a baking stone and a stainless steel mixing bowl... Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Take your loaf out of the refrigerator 2 hours before baking it to let come to room temperature. Put your finger in flour and poke your dough about 3/4" deep. If the hole springs back quickly it is under proofed. If it doesn't spring back at all it is over proofed. It I springs back about half way... It's time to bake. Score/dock your loaf and then spray a generous amount of water on it with a misting spray bottle.

The mixing bowl trick is the easiest and best way to trap steam in a home oven. Any water that is not trapped inside that bowl will not stay in your oven for very long.
post #8 of 8

I agree with the stretch and fold advice.

 

One difference is that I often bake a dough directly after retarding it for 12 to 36 hours in the fridge. I shape the dough and then put it, covered, in the fridge. Just heat up that oven, make sure you have steam (I like a la cloche or dutch oven), and you will get a gorgeous bread, inside and out.

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