PLEASE help?


Hey to all!

I`m new to sourdough baking.  I thought the hardest part was getting your starter to start.  Boy, was I wrong!!!!

I just can`t seem to get the baking part right!!!  I baked a lot using regular yeast.

I created my starter a few weeks ago.  It is sitting on the counter in my kitchen. The temp is between 62 and 82.  I`m in South Africa but we have an ellis de luxe in the kitchen, hence the high temp in the winter.

Okay the info on the starter:

Using AP flour. Feeding every 12hours.  Rising double in 3hours (due to the temp I think?)

feeding 1:4:5 to avoid hooch on top of the starter.

When I create a loaf I`m bulk proofing (I think thats the term I should use?) for 8 hours. (Overnight, at room temp)

In the morning it has doubled nicely.  So I "punch down" and form into loaves.

Let the loaves proof again for 5 hours..........  Problem is there is no proving after the "punch down"????

I`m baking bricks!!!!!


So now I have resorted to creating a sponge with the starter, all the water and half of the flour the recipe asks for.  Proof overnight (8 hours at room temp)  In the morning mix in the rest of the flour and the salt.  Form into loaves and proof..........  Problem is after 3 hours no more rising occurs and there is no oven spring what so ever even with a oven temp of 450!!


O please, please, please help me!

212 users have voted.


LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2011 June 21

 It is possible that you are bulk proofing to long.  Try cutting that time in half or even more.  Don't punch your dough down you are pressing all the gas out of it that makes the bubbles in the crumb when it is baked.

hitz333 2011 June 22

I use a very similar method, except the proving after shaping is only 2-3 hours. So 8 hours plus 5 seems like a long time to me, especially with a warm room temp!

HopesHope 2011 June 23

If you want to proof the dough for that long period of time, put it in the refridgerator. This will give you the time you need and allow it to rise slowly.   In the morning, bring it out and let it get to room temperature [dont punch down].  Once it gets to room temperature let it pour out slowly or help it along on the counter.  This is sufficient to deflate the dough.   Be gentle with this dough and it will make great bread., otherwise you will get bricks.  Form your dough to whatever shape you are going to bake, and let it rise "only until double" then bake it off.



Jeff 2011 June 24

I support the too long proofing and rising theory,

Just as you feed the starter regularly so that the yeasties can get the sugars to feed on and gas the starter,

So the dough also runs out of energy (sugar) and as a result there are less little bubbles.

Shorten the rising times!

Veels geluk!

Brickie Dick 2011 June 24


Try fermenting at a cooler temp - in the fridge if necessary.  You can ferment for days this way and the loaves will bake OK with only a slight warming (to 55F).



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