Author Topic: sourdough not rising  (Read 4015 times)

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Offline ctpiz

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sourdough not rising
« on: May 19, 2008, 11:19:00 PM »
i have a recently activated camaldoli starter that i've used in a few recipes. i've follow 2 bread recipes and each time the recipe says to let the dough rest and rise to about double in size, my dough is barely changing from its original size. what could i be doing wrong? is my yeast not active enough?

thanks.


Offline scott r

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 12:39:29 AM »
There is a possibility that your starter was not completely activated when you put it in the fridge, but this is probably not the case.   If it was expanding to the point where it was at least doubling in size within anywhere between 3-7 hours you should be fine.

Don't underestimate the effect that temperatures can play on your recipes, especially when using wild yeast cultures.   I know that around the area that I live (Boston) things have been very cool lately, tonight in the low 50's even though it is almost June.  Temperatures like this could really slow down your starters rise times.   Make sure your culture has at least doubled and no more than tripled before you use it in your recipe.  After you have mixed your dough wait as long as it takes for it to double (but no more) in size before baking.  If the dough is extremely sour or off tasting, then you could be having some issues with your culture.   

Should you find that your dough is too sour all is not lost.   You can still try to revive your starter by giving it lots of food and keeping it out of the fridge for a while. Don't wait too long in between feedings. Let it go through a bunch of life cycles and see if things speed up.  You can also feed a higher ratio of food to culture than you usually do, just make sure to wait for a full rise and slight fall before re feeding.  Another trick to perk up a starter is adding a small bit of rye flour which is a much happier environment for your culture to live in than wheat flour.

Good luck my friend and please feel free to check back with more details.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 12:35:50 PM by scott r »

Offline ctpiz

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 08:46:03 AM »
Hey, thanks for the fast reply.

My yeast had definitely been doubling for a few days during activation. I had it out for about a week before putting it in the fridge, feeding it every 12 hours.

It could be the temperature effecting the rise. My rolls came out like bricks last night.

When I made pizza dough it was flavorless, so were the rolls.

Should I try rising the dough in a warm oven?

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 09:03:36 AM »
ctpiz,

As scott says, temp is critical. How much starter are you using (weight of starter? weight of flour?). How long are you waiting? These natural starters can take a long time to kick in, much longer than commercial yeast. If I'm doing a 24-hour room temp (65F) ferment, it can take 15 hours or so before I see any expansion.

Bill/SFNM

 

Offline ctpiz

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 10:45:49 AM »
I was following a recipe for kaiser rolls on sourdoughhome.com which had didn't really give times for rising. I let the dough sit for about 2 hours. from what i understand now, this is way to short.

do you have any recipes for a hard roll like a kaiser roll which includes resting times for the dough?

or is this more of a wait and watch the dough, which could take half a day to rise?

Thanks.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 11:38:26 AM »
is this more of a wait and watch the dough, which could take half a day to rise?

You just have to keep using and experimenting with the starter trying different feeding and activating regimens, starter percentages, and fermenting/proofing temps. After a while, you will know the starter well enough to be able to adjust these parameters for different recipes and results. I certainly was clueless after activating my first starter.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 12:05:22 PM »
There is an art to writing a recipe so that it can be followed by anyone who wants to bake. That recipe assumes a certain level of knowledge using sourdough that is not made clear within the recipe. I have not had a "real" Kaiser roll since I lived in NY, a long time ago.

There is a shortage of easy to follow recipes for sourdough bread baking for beginners.

Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer has several well laid out recipes, they are listed as advanced... but I have been able to get them done and don't consider myself "advanced" at this point.

Having a very active starter is the key to success, as well as patience and knowing when it is ready to move from the steps, regardless of what the recipe might say in terms of time. That only comes from experience - failing a few times and learning from it.

Please post your successes as well as duds, we can all learn from it.

Offline Frankie G

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2008, 11:15:43 AM »
I recently (within the past 6 months) have been able to keep a starter alive.  I was advised by Randy that once a starter lasts more than a couple weeks... one has bragging rights.

Well... I have used it for 6 months now... and cry everytime I need to multiply and toss extra away...

After experiencing the starter vs yeast... a starter will not rise as quickly... and some books say... will enable the dough to rise as much... but the oven spring... and the flavor are wonderful.

DON'T GIVE UP! 

try starting a new starter... experiment with stiff and wet starters...

my new favorite book is... Local Breads.... 

Frankie G

Offline scott r

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Re: sourdough not rising
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2008, 12:39:04 PM »


or is this more of a wait and watch the dough, which could take half a day to rise?



Yes, wait and watch your fed starter until it at least doubles, and before it falls.  Make your dough and bake it when it has doubled no matter how long that takes.   I once made a dough that took three days to double and it was one of my best ever.


 

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