Sourdough Baking


Can anyone suggest anything to assist? There's so many variables and I've tried so many different things from the starter, the flour, molding techniques and baking. I don't know if it's a hyrdration problem....66% water 42%stater  Thanks

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farinam's picture
farinam 2015 August 1

Hello adamr87,

From the looks of it your gluten development and crumb structure are alright.  The large holes are probably due to air trapped during shaping.  This can result from too much flour not allowing the dough to rejoin/seal and/or due to folding rather than rolling which can also trap quantities of air.

One technique for shaping a banneton (or baguette if it comes to that) is to press the dough out into an oval/rectangular shape and roll one long edge into the centre and seal by pressing along the edge.  Then roll the other long edge to the centre and press to seal.  Then roll the new top edge over to match the new bottom edge and press to seal.  This gives you a log shape that is tapered to both ends and you can roll it some more to make the ends pointier if you wish.  Then place the shaped loaf in your basket/banneton with the seam up so that when it is proved and you turn it out for baking the seam is down and the nice tight skin that you have made is up and ready to be slashed.

You also seem to have a thick dark crust on the bottom and a thin light crust on the top so I wonder where in your oven you are baking and are you using a stone or a tray and are you using steam during any part of the bake?  What oven temperature are you using?

Also, are the notches in the top due to your slashes or have you by any chance baked the loaf with the seam up?

Hope this helps in some way and maybe with a bit more information we can help some more.

Good luck with your projects.


adamr87 2015 August 1

Thank you so much for your reply Farinam. 

I use a baker deck oven with stone base,

the temperature for the sourdough is 230 degrees on the top and 229 degrees on the bottom for 45 mins 

the steam system is set to 7 seconds at 180 degrees... 

I'll try the technique you suggested and let you know how I go. 

Thank you again!!!

adamr87 2015 August 5

Can I also add this issue only happens with plain sourdough. Multigrain and baguettes come out beautiful. 

GeoffC 2015 August 10

I've had a similar issue with 100% rye - I 'seemed' to cure by 'just' reducing the amount of starter.

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