2009 June 7
I'm new to baking sourdough and seem to be having a few problems. I've tried two starter recipes: Dan Lepard's Rye starter and Richard Bertinet's white flour, spelt and honey starter. Both are alive and well and behave as expected (I believe). So what's the problem, I hear you ask?
I am using Richard Bertinet's recipe (from his book Crust), which has quite a high water content (70%) and am trying his kneading technique for conditioning the dough. I *think* I am doing it correctly since the dough rises as the recipe says it should.
Per the recipe, I leave the dough in proving baskets for 16-18 hours (covered with a linen bread cloth) but find the dough seems to be rather delicate when I turn it out from the baskets with the internal dough looking 'runny'. The dough spreads quite a lot and if I try to slash with the lame, it 'bursts' like a balloon. I have tried two batches so far and only 50% of each batch makes it to the oven. The resulting bread tastes good, but it's rather flat.
Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Am I proving for too long? Too much water?