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botched sourdough, what happened? - view

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
hi all,
so, i followed a basic recipe that i found on the net. it didn't work out so i thought i'd post up and try to get some feedback.
  • 2 Cups of sponge (proofed starter)
  • 3 Cups of unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or softened margarine
  • 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
i couldn't get the dough to rise. i made the sponge and let it sit on the counter for about 18 hours. then i mixed all the ingredients in my stand mixer. for some reason after four hours, the dough had not risen at all. i punched it down anyway, kneaded it a few more times, reformed, and let it sit on the counter again for about two more hours and still, nothing! well, i just threw it in the oven and that was all she wrote. the end result was very small, but also very heavy and dense. what did i do wrong?



waiting to rise

post #2 of 9
Really need more info to help. Was this your own starter that you had used before? If not, how did you start your sponge? Temp of any liquid used. Temp of area working in, as well as humidity. Chlorine in water?.
post #3 of 9
guessing some of that sugar went into the starter to feed it correct, looks to me like the starter is either not active enough(should be more bubbly),whhether it lacks the food to be active or the organisms are not there in sufficient supply is hard to tell from here. troubleshoot your starter and the sponge process first. i think thats where your problem is at. hope this helps...

heres a pic of my sponge last time i made bread.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks guys, yes, it's an unproven starter that i made up. i fed it everyday for 7 days, using tap water and all-purpose. i think i'm going to try adding some sugar to the starter (1/2 tsp?) and feed it with some bottled water and bread flour for another week. i'll keep ya posted...
post #5 of 9
You can also feed it with a bit more flour and water. I have been known to feed mine a little sugar now and again when I don't get a chance to use it for a few weeks. Either way, it should end up looking like the one erain posted. Let us know how it works out.
post #6 of 9
I am just learning myself but try bottled water instead of tap water. Might be too much chlorine. icon_eek.gif Good luck!!
post #7 of 9
sourdough is a very fickle process.temps humidity at all points of cooking!and yes bottled water is a must.good breadmaking is an art-like smoking meat-I have read a few books that have helped me-there ARE so many factors-that just a good recipi won't produce a good bread.James Beard wrote a book on the subject thats worth haveing.
post #8 of 9

Looks like your starter may not be healthy...

I use that same recipe all the time. I'm pretty new to sourdough myself. Our starter that is out at room temperature and fed twice a day got sick and we wound up with a few tossed out bricks posing for bread as well. How long the first rise takes depends on a lot of things, but by 4 hours you should see some movement towards rising. We had some saved back starter in a jar from a few months ago (fed occasionally while stored in the 'fridge) and started over with it. Back to nice bubbly and healthy starter now.

On that recipe, I am never able to get all the flour in it calls for without adding water.

I wanted to respond to this sooner, but I was having posting issues after registering. I hope this helps.
post #9 of 9
once in a while you need to rezing your starter, most wild yeasts will mutate in a more domesticated form and loose alot of good flavor. even if you wasted your money on some 'real deal' Sanfrancisco starter, it will mutate with local yeast and change. that's the nature of the fungi. i usually throw a whack of real kosher pickle in it and that gives the yeast some boost with a little bretomiosin for flavor. 80 degrees with at least 60% humidity is yeasts favorite home, and should reach attenuation every 8 to 14 hours depending on purity of water and cleanliness of equipment.

oh and get rid of that ecb too, that is prolly the start of most yer problems.
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