Sourdough not rising?


Hi everyone,

I tried to make my first loaf of bread today but unfortunately the sourdough is not rising. I presume the cause is the lack of activity in the leaven but i thought id ask people with experience behind them.

The starter and recipe Im using is from the 'natural tucker bread book'. Its just a 100% wholemeal Demeter sourdough. The starter was made a few days ago with equal amounts of water and flour. After 24hrs it started to bubble away and at that point i fed it again with a little more flour and water. Its been two days since then and i fear they maybe my starter wasnt active enough when i made the dough this morning?? IT smelled quite strongly though. Im unsure if i was suppose to re-invigorate the starter just prior to kneading? maybe it was something else?

Any help appreciated

Have a great day!


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SourDom 2006 March 28


It sounds like your starter may be a little young yet to have a lot of oomph behind it, but I am not sure how long your dough has been going without a rise. Sourdoughs are much slower to rise than yeasted breads, so it is usual to leave doughs to rise for 4 hours (sometimes longer) for a first rise, and then a similar amount of time for a second rise. It may be worthwhile waiting for a few more hours before losing heart with your current dough.

I usually recommend giving starters at least a week before baking with them, as early disappointing loaves sometimes put people off sourdough. To get the best activity from your starter each day you need to discard most of it (4/5 say), and then add a fresh quantity of flour and water (I usually add equal weights of flour and water eg 150g flour, 150g water).

You might like to have a look at some previous posts which describe how to tell if your starter is alive and kicking

also have a look at Dan Lepard's instructions for a new starter and first sourdough loaf


Precog 2006 March 28

Thanks SourDom,

Its been about 7 hours since i made the fough and it has slowly risen (or at least filled out to the edges of the bread tin). I'll do as you suggest and hopefully ill get a better rise next time.


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