This article is for all of you, who at least once have encountered problems or issues with your lovely sourdough.
Yes this happened to me too. I have struggled for far too many years, until I have found the right mentor.
I exercised and developed new recipes upon the method and tricks he thought me.
I read too many times about people, that have issues with their sour dough. Some of these issues are:
Sourdough starter is not sour enough
My dough hasn’t moved a centimetre since I mixed it.
My bread doesn’t prove
My bread doesn’t get coloured
My bread has not air pockets
My dough is too runny
My bread burns before it gets cooked
My bread is very doughy.
These are the most common problems that I have found that people struggles the most with in my experience.
Today I want to give you an answer to all of the above problems. You deserve it.
The sour dough starter doesn’t get acidic or sour because of the age. That is a myth. It gets sour because it develops more lactobacillus. Lactobacillus are better developed when the starter doesn’t get fed often. For example it gets sour when you feed it every 2 days. Viceversa if you want a sourdough starter milder in flavour, feed it more often.
The most important thing when you prepare sourdough bread is that the bread reaches around 21-26° when you have finished mixing or kneading. If you don’t reach those temperature it will be very hard for the starter to begin the fermentation. Another issue could be that the starter hasn’t been mixed evenly, so the tip is to mix it into the water first.
Your bread doesn’t prove because of mainly two reasons- the first one is as explained above and the second one that you probably do not use enough starter. As a baker we usually use a different proportion of starter when we produce sourdough bread between 60% to 110% depending on the result that we want to obtain, but the Thing that we all take for granted is time, baking goods require time, require patience.
Your bread doesn’t colour up because of the amount of sugar that is contained into the flour. To fix this problem just add 10% malt into the recipe.
Your bread does not have air pockets because it simply has not enough hydration (to be able to obtain a nice open crumb your recipe requires at least 60%/80% of water) Than the folding will be easier and effective. The folding method needs to start once we see signs of fermentation and development of gas. The tips is to fold it to give nutriments in different parts of the dough
Your dough is runny for one only reason, the flour that you are using is not strong enough and that means that the protein amount is too low. When you do high hydrated doughs you need at least 12-13 gr of protein for 100gr of flour.
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Take care Giuseppe Nasti