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  • #1 by luckydutch on 10 Jun 2021
  • I've been trying to follow the guidance of many on this forum to use a RT ferment for sourdough but my first attempt has been a bit of a disaster.

    After the 12h bulk ferment, the dough was so full of gas and seemed to have lost a lot of it's structural integrity. You can see from the first picture that it wouldn't ball into a tight, round ball. It was lumpy had lots of air bubbles all over it.

    In an attempt to rescue it I kneaded it a short while to try to degas it and the dough completely fell apart, turning into a big lump of porridge.

    Did it over-ferment during that bulking period? I consistently seem to have issues with massive bubbles forming in my dough!

    Recipe in the attachments.

    I bulk fermented in a coolbox with an icepack in there to keep it slightly cooler than the ambient temperature (it's about 74F in the air at the moment).

    Pictures of the dough:

    https://imgur.com/gallery/55z8CaT

  • #2 by luckydutch on 10 Jun 2021
  • This is after 8 hours of the final rise in the cooler. I did the poke test and it just stuck to my finger. Didn't really make an indentation or spring back.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/UOtOr1z
  • #3 by billg on 10 Jun 2021
  • How active was your starter?  How long after the last feeding did you attempt to make your dough?
  • #4 by luckydutch on 10 Jun 2021
  • How active was your starter?  How long after the last feeding did you attempt to make your dough?

    My starter is pretty feisty, to be fair! I just grew it myself rather than buying it but it's a hungry one!

    I fed it a 1-2-2 ratio of starter-water-flour and it peaked within about 7-8 hours which is when I used it.
  • #5 by billg on 10 Jun 2021
  • My starter is pretty feisty, to be fair! I just grew it myself rather than buying it but it's a hungry one!

    I fed it a 1-2-2 ratio of starter-water-flour and it peaked within about 7-8 hours which is when I used it.

    Try the same recipe with just4% starter and see what happens
  • #6 by luckydutch on 10 Jun 2021
  • Try the same recipe with just4% starter and see what happens

    Will do!

    Did I use the starter % calculator wrong, possibly?

    9% did seem like a lot because I would use 20% in a dough that would be going in the fridge and it's only half that.
  • #7 by billg on 10 Jun 2021
  • Everyone's starter is different.  Keep making dough with your starter, keeping notes on how fermentation goes.  Increase or decrease based on your results until you get to a place you are happy with.  It really boils down to knowing how your starter performs and practice/experience.  Practice is the best form of education when it comes to making pizza.  I think everyone on this forum made more mistakes than they are proud to admit, me being one of them.  But every mistake I made was a learning experience.  I bet you will be in a good place in no time, just practice!
  • #8 by HansB on 10 Jun 2021
  • Also, be sure to watch the dough, not the clock...
  • #9 by luckydutch on 10 Jun 2021
  • Everyone's starter is different.  Keep making dough with your starter, keeping notes on how fermentation goes.  Increase or decrease based on your results until you get to a place you are happy with.  It really boils down to knowing how your starter performs and practice/experience.  Practice is the best form of education when it comes to making pizza.  I think everyone on this forum made more mistakes than they are proud to admit, me being one of them.  But every mistake I made was a learning experience.  I bet you will be in a good place in no time, just practice!

    OK, that's sound advice. Thanks!

    I am actually really pleased with how the pizza came out. The dough was a PAIN to work with but the final result was tasty and had a wonderful texture in the crust. The only disappointment was that there were too many huge air bubbles, some of which burnt.

    I can't say that I noticed any radical differences to previous attempts where I used a larger starter % and a fridge ferment but maybe I would if I tried them side-by-side.

    I'll try again with the exact same method but less starter and see how it turns out.
  • #10 by luckydutch on 10 Jun 2021
  • Also, be sure to watch the dough, not the clock...

    Ideally I would but I kind of have to plan the fermentation around when I want to eat it!

    But now that I know that recipe/method over-ferments, I can tweak it slightly and see whether I get closer to the right fermentation duration.
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