Flatbreads - but that wasn't the aim


 Hi everyone, 

I'm into my fourth loaf and they are getting worse. The results resemble more and more flatbreads without the look of a nice loaf of bread I'm hoping for. 


Im using:

180g starter (100ml water, 70g white bakers flour, 30g rye flour)

320ml water

425g white flour

75g rye flour

10g salt


The dough is sticky, doesn't hold it's shape and flattens out.

Last night's dough felt so wet so I put it overnight into the fridge, took it out today to S&F, have a bench rest followed by shaping (didn't work at all) before putting it into a Dutch oven (tried that out for the first time. The dough just slipped into the heated form as a blob and kept holding its 'blob like stage' during the baking with only minimal rise. 

Not happy at al... Any ideas where I've gone wrong? I assume there will be more than just one wrong stage.

PS ambient temperature iwas around 32degrees



201 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 March 25

Hi Aggie,

You didn't mention any timings before you put it in the fridge but things could move pretty quickly at that sort of temperature.  Also things don't stop/slow down as soon as you fridge them so it is possible that it is just a case of serious over-proving.

I assume you starter is actually 90g of your stock plus 45g flour and 45g water to give the totals that you quote.

That dough recipe should give you a perfectly handleable dough all things being equal but you could try a little less water to reduce the hydration.  This might be advisable anyway as the high humidity up there will be reflected in the moisture content of your flours and they will need less water as a result.

Give us some more detail and good luck with your projects.


Aggie3 2012 March 27

 Hi Farinam


I think my mistake number one: I've taken 180g straight from my stock (starter) at its peak not using 90g starter stock and adding to it. 


Re timing, I've tried out the bread maker to mix the dough, then left it in the bread maker for 2h before moving it into the fridge over night. So yes, with your assumption of being seriously over-proving your are spot on. After having tried the flatbread it did taste sour, not too unpleasant but by far more than the previous loafs. 


The combination of all these things most likely contributed to the outcome. 

Live downloaded your step by step instructions from another thread and will try to follow that. This timing is currently my worst enemy but I'm going to beat it! Lol (she says)

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 March 27

Hi Aggie3,

On the timing thing, it will depend on your temperature and you will have to adjust what you do to suit.

This is only my thinking, but it has stood me in good stead.  When you prepare your starter (stock plus fresh flour and water) take a note of how long it takes to rise to its maximum volume (stops increasing/just starts to fall).  I find that this time is a good guide to how long you need to go from dough mixing to loaf ready to bake (assuming that the temperature throughout is reasonably consistent).  Then you work on about half of the time for your dough development and bulk ferment and the other half for proving your shaped loaf.  Adjustments in timing can be made then depending on how things are progressing.

Let us know how you go.


Aggie3 2012 March 27

 Thanks yet again, I'll do that and chek out how it works, I'm sure it will be heaps better than my previous efforts. (I'm definitely hoping so!)

chazzone 2012 April 1

You never really mention how the 1st proofing (initial fermentation) goes.  Is it doubling?
Also, you wrote that you took the starter from the stock, when it reached it's peak.  Does that mean that you fed the stock, and when it doubled, you took the starter out for the loaf?  How long does it take for your stock to double, or as you wrote, reach its peak?  This should be about the same amount of time that it requires to proof.

I can't believe that it is over proofed after just 2 hours.  I'd be more likely to believe that the starter needs more time to get going.  


Post Reply

Already a member? Login