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Old 06-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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Having problems with my sourdough

My sourdough starter is a couple of months old. But I'm having trouble when I bake bread.

I'm trying different recipes, sometimes repeating the same one, other times new ones. So the problem lies with me.

The first time I made sourdough with it, I added instant yeast. But I don't want to continue to do that. That's why I have a sourdough starter!

So I tried making the same recipe again sans instant yeast and it rose the first time and then I punched it back and it didn't really rise again.

Then I tried making sourdough with other recipes, again without instant yeast, and I keep getting the same problem! It takes forever for the dough to rise the first time, and then it doesn't really rise the second time.

This last time I made dough, it improved a tiny bit. It again took forever to rise the first time, and then it rose a little bit the second time but then it cooked up solid, not airy at all. So it obviously didn't rise enough even though I gave it many hours and kept waiting.

A few weeks ago, I've been keeping my starter drier rather than liquidy so it'll foster the kind of yeast that makes more acidic taste. Could this be the problem? Could it be that the yeast population isn't high enough yet to give good rises?

The bread is nice and sour but flat and heavy. Not at all what I want, obviously. I need help please!

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Old 06-25-2013, 11:38 PM   #2
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Define forever?

When I do sourdough the first rise is about 8 hours with the second a little over 4.

Sourdoughhome - An Exploration of Sourdough This is an excellent site for learning about sourdough.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #3
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What Frank said! There is no hurrying sourdough.

Thanks for that site link, Frank!
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:33 AM   #4
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Took around 12 hours for the first rise. And then like four hours for only a partial second rise and then it stopped rising anymore.

And now it smells like acetone. :(
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
What Frank said! There is no hurrying sourdough.

Thanks for that site link, Frank!
PF, didn't we just have a discussion a short while back when a member posted her named starter and was concerned because it took so long to give rise to her dough?
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by msminnamouse View Post
Took around 12 hours for the first rise. And then like four hours for only a partial second rise and then it stopped rising anymore.

And now it smells like acetone. :(
How often are you feeding your starter and how are you doing it? It sounds to me like your starter is off, you may need to start again. It should smell yeasty good.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #7
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PF, didn't we just have a discussion a short while back when a member posted her named starter and was concerned because it took so long to give rise to her dough?
I'm sure we did, Addie, but please don't ask me to remember the title of the thread. The reason I have an Audrey II is because Audrey I turned mean and nasty.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Took around 12 hours for the first rise. And then like four hours for only a partial second rise and then it stopped rising anymore.

And now it smells like acetone. :(
The first question is this then. When you feed it (how are you feeding?) will it at the very least double itself in 6-8 hours? If not it doesn't have the juice for the work you are asking. Double rise with a starter requires a robust soup of critters. Some people only do a single rise because of this.

The brief procedure for me is:
1) Feed about midnight. (you are doing a feed 6-8 hours before you make dough right?)
2) make dough about 7am.
3) wait.
4) When I have doubling punch down and loaf.
5) wait.
6) bake.

My prebake feed does two things. First it gives the critters food to do their job. Secondly it bulks up the amount of starter I have so I can take some out and not be too short on storage starter. I keep mine in the fridge and it takes about 3 feedings for it to be ready again usually so I try to give it 4 ie. take it out at noon 2 days prior.

A smell like acetone could mean it is deleted of food or it could mean you are out of balance on the critters (you have the ones you don't want and not enough of those you do).

One last question. Can you make simple white bread reasonably well?
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