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Hello and Help! | Sourdough Companion

Hello and Help!

Hello everyone,

I've been lurking for a while and found many useful tips and recipes on this site. Thank you!

Anyway, I also followed the sourdough starter recipe, but only with rye flour, and my starter is just perfect! However, when I follow a recipe, like the Barley and Wheat Bran Miche for example, everything goes swimmingly until I turn the dough out from the banneton to the baking stone. I just spreads everywhere! What am I doing wrong? I have tried reducing the water, but that hasn't had the desired effect either.

Please help if you can.

Thank you and kind regards,

Pumpkin

1 comment

Hi Pumpkin,

Welcome to the blog.

I think everyone makes flat bread for a while at the start until they get the feel for what is going on. Key factors relating to flatness from my experience-

1. Overproofing
This can develop surprisingly quickly in warm weather. Slight underproofing can give a very nice loaf, so err on the side of under rather than over proofing.

2. Lack of tension in loaf surface
There is a lot of information around on tensioning and shaping a loaf, I have seen a youtube video on this site but would not know where to find it without searching. Loaf shaping seems to be a lot more important for sourdough that commercial yeast bread and it takes quite a few goes to get used to the techniques.

3. Recipe
I am very wary of recipes that put a lot of fibre into the dough as this can interrupt the gluten formation. I was warned in the early days to stay with maximum 1/4 wholemeal and use eg Wallaby white bakers flour for the rest until I I was more practiced and my family seems to prefer this proportion anyway.

Without knowing your recipe and technique it is hard to guess what is at the bottom of your problem but don't reduce the water as it sounds like a problem with the gluten strength to me.