Problems with spring/crust?


Hi all,

I'm new to this game, but have been trawling through some blogs looking for answers to my questions and thought I would just ask direct.

I've been making multiple attempts at baking a loaf using a consistent recipe - specifically 100g of starter, 300g water, 350g white flour, 50g stoneground wholemeal, 10g salt. I do a 40 min autolyse and a bulk fermentation with four turn and folds every 30 mins. After that I shape, put in a banneton and leave in the fridge overnight, baking first thing in the morning in my dutch oven.

The problem is that all my loaves seem to come out fairly flat, but with a layer of bubbles along the top of the loaf as in the pictures. I've tinkered with the hydration levels and amount of shaping, but I just get the sense that this lack of volume might be down to the fact that my starter isn't active enough - is that right? Or is it an issue of over/underproofing? Any advice would be really appreciated.



232 users have voted.


George_rudd 2017 September 26
I am not a expert no where near 3 weeks into this world of sd but I have heard and seen on YouTube u need to take out off fridge and let it come to room temp and then do poke test try that and see if u get better result
Staff 2017 September 27

You could be on to something George_rudd.


Hi 'new to this game.'

Let us know how you go with letting the dough warm a little before baking.  

yozzause 2017 October 14

Not sure on the activity of the starter but you could try a higher percentage, My stock standard is the 3:2:1  3 flour , 2 water, 1 starter and 2% salt.

If you are wanting to use 400g flour then it would be 266g water and 133g of starter 8 g of salt. this will give you 807 g of dough, Your formula gives  810g of dough but a smaller percentage of starter. The dough should be slightly tighter as the increase in starter which is effectively half water and flour and a decrease in the water. The salt rate that you used amounted to 2,5% would also slow the dough down. Not huge changes but give them a try and see how you go.

You also say that you do a 40min autolyse and 4 x fold and turns every 30 minutes so presumably that is two hours, is the dough really starting to feel gassed up toward the last turn and folds if not id be inclined to  go another hour or two. i usually stretch and fold hourly and for 3 or four hours. tipping out and shaping  placing into bannetons and into plastic bags for a fridge retard over night or else baking after an hour or two after shaping. this is often dependant on the doughs and the room temperature. kind regards Derek

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