Soggy when baked! Where am I going wrong?

Hi there folks,

I was hoping someone could help me with a little issue I'm having. This is the first year I've started making bread from a starter. I think my starter is fine I keep it in the fridge and refresh it twice a week. I think I've made it to 50% hydration as I've been following Richard Bertinet's instructions in 'Crust' (his book on sourdough baking). This involves weighing the starter and adding the same amount of water and double the flour. I often make a pizza with the dough that is left over from my attempts at bread and this is working out just fine I have made one batch of successful baps. I am finding however that mostly my bread is turning out to be VERY moist a doughy? even my crumpets were very gooey. I only had wholemeal flour the last time I refreshed my starter so i used this and i think it's made it worse? any ideas? Am I over prooving it perhaps?

 

Thanks Vince

4 comments

Vince,

     People are going to ask what your recipe is, how long you bake the dough, and at what temperature?

 

I would say you are not baking the bread long enough.  If the bread does not sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, put it back in the oven for another 10-15 mins.  Reduce the temperature to 190C say, to prevent the crust getting too thick meanwhile.

 

Good luck

John

 

Thanks For your reply John,


 

I decided that it was my starter as the first things I baked were good and I wasn't quite getting the same rise as other people on here. I had initially accepted it as just a sourdough thing. Also I wanted to convert my starter to 100% hydration as it seemed easier to work with (and it freed up a mixing bowl!). With all that in mind I took of 100g of my starter and added it to a jar with 100g of flour and 100g of water and kept adding 100g of each every day four about 4 days. Imagine my excitement when I came home yesterday to find that it had doubled in size! Also it doesn't smell as strongly sour - it smells pleasantly of bananas.

I popped it back into the fridge as I was home quite late but I've taken it out this morning and can't wait to get baking with it today. I think where I was going wrong is not really accepting that my normal bread baking rules still apply. The bread wasn't really proving or holding it's shape – a schoolboy error I'm sure.

 

I will post photo's later as it's really helped me to see others results.

 

This is my happy face :)

After over 30 years  of sourdough baking, I've never had my starter double in size, or smell pleasantly like bananas, it doesn't sound mature enough. I'd refrain from the fridge, let it get unpleasantly alcoholic, burning your nose hairs when you sniff it, feed it, bake the next day.

 

Thanks for the tip Dave I'll take it out and let it mature out of the fridge for a while.


 

As for my loaf I'm really pleased. I followed The 1,2,3 method using 125g of starter, 250g water and 300g of plain flour + 80g wholemeal flour - I added an extra 5g to compansate for the fact that wholemeal has less actual flour (if you catch my drift). There were a couple of issues. I don't have proving baskets so I just let the dough sit back in it's bowl. I don't have a paddle either, so I turned it out onto a baking sheet that had been well dusted with semolina and left it to rest for half an hour more. The dough duly stuck to the tray/paddle so the end loaf is a little misshapen. The good news is that it had good oven spring and looks much improved on previous attempts.

 

Check it out!