The “Rise to Double” Hump
Posted: 02 November 2009 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I follow the sourdough process in the book. Everything always goes well until that last instruction before the “shaping” stage of most recipes when the directions say, let rise until double.

It’s happened several times that it just doesn’t double.

To be clear, there are bubbles in there. It rises a little. maybe to about 3 cups.

Something that happens ALL the time is that the whole thing goes liquified by the time i get to this step. It’s very, VERY sticky. I add flour (but don’t want to overdue it) to knead. Then I put it in my quart measuring cup…..let it go…..it doesn’t rise. I say, “well, what they heck!”....and dump it out onto the counter anyway….and it’s like a slow molasses mess. Totally runny. Nice soury flavor, though. But not workable.


Is there something in the stickiness/water/liquid-ness that prevents it from rising until doubled in that final step before the shaping. Even if it DID rise to 4 cups….I couldn’t shape it because it’s liquidy, sticky…..blah…..


This last “rise to double” is usually my downfall. I rarely get past this point….. :(

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Posted: 03 November 2009 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Do the bubbles rise to the top of the dough and then pop?  If so, that, plus the wet dough, makes me think you may not have enough gluten, either because the flour was too weak or because it wasn’t kneaded enough.  But I haven’t made Rose’s sourdough, so perhaps someone will chime in who has.

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Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  How to Make Sourdough More (or Less) Sour

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Posted: 03 November 2009 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have had the best luck using Rose’s Sourdough recipes, especially the Rye.  My first question would be are you using a STIFF sourdough starter.  Are you weighing your flours; if not maybe the flour measurement is too little.  From the beginning of mixing the dough, my dough does not vary in stickiness.  It may be your measurements are off.

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Posted: 03 November 2009 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sounds like either you have too much liquid or you are using the wrong kind of flour.  You really have to use unbleached bread flour for sourdough—if you use anything bleached or something with too little gluten, the acids in the starter will liquefy your dough.  PS, I use Rose’s sourdough recipe, and haven’t had any problems.

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Posted: 04 November 2009 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Uh oh…..
To be perfectly honest…..I usually pay attention to the flour I’m using. But I didn’t pay attention with this….and I think it’s definitely possible I’m using A-P flour. I have both (labels would help, right?). I actually DO use bread flour for the recipes I make from Rose’s book—-and it works. I should have thought of that….

I think I’m going to go for the stiff starter. The liquid is just a huge mess.

I assume I can’t “cross-it-over” to a bread flour starter now that I’ve gone A-P. I mean: supposing I keep feeding each day, eventually, bread flour would make up the vast majority of the flour still left.

Or…why even bother? I can just start again. Oh well…...

Many thanks for all this help. It’s so easy to do——but so HARD too! you know?

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Posted: 04 November 2009 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Please don’t start again!  Your sourdough sounds fine.  As you said, it will soon be 99.9999…% bread flour.  You can always convert stiff starter to liquid and vice versa - just use a different percentage of water.

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Posted: 04 November 2009 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Oh, OK! Good. It wasn’t all wasted then. The more feedings I do, the better the flavor anyway, right? this way, I won’t lose it.

I mean…it’s still going. It was bubbling this morning. Not strong enough, I guess, though, yet. Need the bread flour!!!

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