sourdough fail

starter about 12h after  feedingrye sourdough insiderye sourdough

Hi people,


After 1 year of unsuccessful attempts at soudough baking I could fynally..... fail again!

Honestly, I don´t get it, the starter is raising as it is expected, but the bread turns out to be too compact and pale, and it has enormous holes in it. I´ll post some pictures of the starter and the bread for you to laugh of it as I did when it came out of the oven!


Hello Dunia,

Don't depair, we have all had our 'duds'.  Fortunately, even though they might look a bit funny, I have never really heard of one that was not edible.

If you could give the recipe that you used and details of the procedure that you followed from dough starter feeding, dough preparation, proving, shaping and baking, we might have a better chance of making sensible suggestions since your 'problem' might start anywhere in the process.

The other thing that I usually suggest as well is that you should make several loaves using the same recipe until you can do it easily - sometimes as you get practice, problems resolve themselves as you get to understand the procedures and dough characteristics better.

Keep on bakin'


Ok, here it goes.  I would try that recipe from the reply to my post, when I asked a easy recipe to begin, but it didn´t have the directions for me to follow, so I just took one that had it. I found the recipe of the following link, and decided to try it, since it didn´t seem very difficult and included an 100% hydration starter, as the one (I believe) I have... (link:   While I was organizing the ingredients, I was thinking if it was necessary to feed the starter right before the preparation, but since I had done that 12 hours before starting preparation (for  normal feeding), and it had doubled in size, I didn´t REfed again before mixing things (AND the recipe, as you can see, didn´t call for that).  Either way, I just followed the recipe as it is written.


Again, sorry for the bad english....


Hello Dunia,

The recipe and method that you followed should be OK though I think the relatively high rye content could make it more difficult than it first seems.  I think that the simpler ingredients and the detailed methods included on this page might be better suited.

If you haven't already read them, SourDom has a series of about five tutorials for beginners in which he imparts all sorts of useful information.

Let us know how you go.


First, don't give up. It took me about 6 tries before I got anything that wasn't embarrassing. It has taken me 6 months to finally get consistent excellent results.


At first for me, I was always too impatient. Now, for me making a sourdough is really about a 10-12 hour process from start to finish (and maybe 12 hours in the refirgerator too!). At first I was always too impatient and tried to get bread out of the oven after 6 hours. I got pale, stiff, embarrassing bread.


One last thing...every step is important...even the shaping of the bread will affect the texture of the final product. The temperature of the oven too! Anyway, I have gone through a lot of flour before I can finally say...."Yeah, I'm good at baking sourdough."

Thanks again, I´ll keep that in mind.

: )

Hi Dunia, I totally agree with what the other people have said. It took some about 6 attempts as well to get a bread that was good to eat. The only thing that I might add is to make sure that you use your starter when it is ripe. IF you have been baking this bread for such a long time your starter is what? about 6-12 Months old? Or is it a new starter? If so how long have you been feeding it?


Do you keep it in the fridge before baking?


I keep mine in the fridge before baking, take it out about24 hours before making bread, let it come to room temperature, feed it 50/50 flour and water ( I do 50gr of flour then 50 grams of water). The starter will take about 8 -12 hours to rise to double its size. Then the next morning I  discard about half and feed it 100gr of flour and 100gr of water. This second time around it will take only 6 hrs to rise to double its size. Once it is at double its size (peak) that is when start the process of making  my bread. When I bake a lot and keep my starter on the bench it will only take 4 hours to get to the Peak, so I have to keep an eye on it, to use it at the peak.


One time I had done all these steps but forgot about the starter and because I was going to a friends place and promised them some bread, I still used it, even though it can gone past the peak and was going down again (down about 1/3). The result was bread that was very compact and had big holes in it. Now I don't know if that is what is going on with your process, but I thought I would mention it.


let us know how you get on. By the way where are you from?

Kind regards Alex