sourdough bread stays flat although it used to turn out perfectly fine.


Hey there, I could use some help with my sourdough bread.

In the first picture, you can see my first try after developing a starter for some weeks. I use spelt flour as I like the taste better than wheat, and I use a dutch oven combo cooker to make the bread.

When I started baking in summer, it was really really hot and in my kitchen were like 35-37°C (95°-98°F), but the dough seemed to like it. I then wasnt able to shape the dough and just let it drop into a banneton and rise overnight 8-12h in the fridge, baked the next day and the result was seriously good.

Now, things arent that great anymore. As temperature changed, now I have around 23°C (73°F) and I also had stuff to do and feeded my starter irregulary, bread turned out really bad. I read that the yeasts can die in a starter thats fed poorly and that you should feed it and let it rise at higher temperatures a few days, which I did, but no real improvement. 

I always make the float test with the leaven and check with streching if the dough is kneaded enough while baking. I also improved my shaping qualities.

I have the feeling that my starter is quite slow somehow, it needs a few days to rise to its max after feedings and also to fall back down. It does smell really good though and the leaven for the bread has a really rich milky sweet smell. 

Does anyone have an idea what I can do? That would be really really lovely.

168 users have voted.


oldman 2018 November 9

Are you feeding the starter with spelt flour, wheat flour, or a blend?  Also, have you tried letting your dough rise overnight at room temperature instead of under refrigeration?

It's also possible you're letting your dough rise too long.  Based on you pictures I don't believe that's what's happening, but just like your starter collapses when it needs fed your dough can lose volume if it's left to rise too long. 

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