Don’t know what went wrong, Overproofing? Over hydration? Or weak starter?


I think I may have overproofed, before baking the dough was very soft and there were some large bubbles at the surface, I also think that some of the large bubble on the cross section may have been folded in during stretch and folds

Day 1 pre ferment

100g white bread flour

66g warm water

88g starter

4 hours at room temp and 20 hours in the fridge

Day 2

422g white bread flour

28g rye flour

28g whole wheat flour

28g barley flour

438g warm water 

244g day 1 starter

90g fresh starter

19g salt

Combine wet ingredients then add flour. Autolyse  for 30min. Add salt and knead till window pane forms. Ferment at room temp for 3 hours then proof overnight in fridge

Day 3

Form dough into ball by stretch and folds. Proof at room temp for 3 hours. Bake in Dutch oven for 25 min at 275c


304 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2018 April 15

Hello Silverfox976,

If you are baking at 275C I would have thought that you would be looking at a much browner crust so the pale crust does seem to suggest over proving.  And you do seem to have some longish times in your method.  Except that, for a loaf of that size, 25 minutes seems a rather short baking time.

I would be thinking that the loaf could be shaped after the three hours of fermentation following dough development.  Then into the fridge for overnight retardation if that is really necessary for your daily routine.  In the morning take the dough out of the fridge and leave on the bench while your oven and Dutch oven are heating.  When ready, transfer the loaf into the pot, slash and bake, after reducing the oven setpoint to 200C, for 40 minutes.  Remove the lid after 20 minutes.

The other assumptions that I have made is that your pre-ferment stage is good and active and is risen and mousse-like when it goes into the dough and that the completed dough rises satisfactorily with a significant and easily visible increase in volume.  I hesitate to use the term 'doubled' for a number of reasons.

Hope this helps and good luck with your projects.


Fiddlerkelly 2018 November 27

I have baked regular bread for years but this sourdough is like I am starting all over again but in my opinion 275 C is awful hot for bread even sourdough. I read here to bake at 425 F or 220 C but honestly I have mine back to about 205 C or 400 F. The crust is softer and browner but I still have a ways to go as the loaf is still breaking away from the bottom and I cut the loaf deep prior to putting it in the oven ,so I thought, but taste is the final judge. 

I kept my dough this time when mixing a little dryer than before as my dough was was hard to stretch out and would bounce back if I let it go so next loaf I will try a little dryer again to see how the dough ends up.Any opinions or advice are appreciated .

Also how do I get the flour off the bread after baking it, I scrapped off some with the knife but couldn’t get it all .


SlackerJohn 2018 December 2

You are having your problems, fiddler!  :)

Can you link the recipe or cut/paste it?

I would go WETTER if anything.  The best bread comes from wet doughs.

Can't say much about the temperature, but I would never use more than 240C, and that for the first part of the bake only (15mins say), while oven spring is happening and before the crust forms.  Then turn down to cook the inside.

The loaf should not be drowning in flour anyway.  To remove, turn loaf upside down and hit bottom with a knife.


Fiddlerkelly 2018 December 7

I am using a receipt that a guy from England had put on Youtube . In that recipe  you have400 gms of flour, 230 gms of water, 160 gms of starter and 5 gms of sea salt baked at 425 F for 30 minutes . So the first loaf rose poorly and heavy , when kneading the dough it was very elastic and hard to knead/stretch out. The next loaf I increased my starter to 200 gms and kept the rest the same , that one rose better but broke away from the bottom. I had cut the top of the dough open prior to putting it in the oven but the dough formed a crust fast not allowing anymore expansion. The third I cut back the water to 200 gms and increased the flour to 430 gms and kept the starter at 200 gms. I also decreased the heat to 400 F. I made deep cuts in dough and left it to rise a little before putting in the stove. This one rose better but eventually crusted over at top and tore away at the bottom but not as bad as the second one.

Maui Artisan So... 2018 May 26

Hello Silverfox976,

I’ve noticed in your recipe, you are working with high hydration. Anytime you are working with this type of dough , the chances of collapse from overproving are that much greater when you go to score, and 0 oven spring will occur. The result is a pancake loaf such as the one in your photo. Instead, I would recommend lowering your hydration to a level you can work with, form a nice ball, and let it bulk ferment with your series of stretch n folds. It’s important to remember that you must have a strong starter before adding it to your flour. Strong meaning airy, and bubbly! I like to mix all my ingredients together and skip all the non sense in recipes about which step to add when. If you have a strong starter and correct hydration you won’t need a recipe! If you are are set on this specific recipe though, do yourself a favor and don’t add as much water. Use as much as you need to form a nice ball, cover and let in rest before you begin stretch n folds. You will notice the dough getting softer and workable. Good luck, Aloha

Fiddlerkelly 2018 December 16

I just made another loaf and results were much better with a light crust golden brown in color but I was hoping for a bit of more rise . If I keep rest of ingredients same but add more starter will this make the flavour more yeasty . I am using whole white flour . Also having trouble getting the flour off bread after it is baked , any suggestions.

Fiddlerkelly 2019 January 3

Got my hands on rice flour without gluten and that problem is solved. Just need to get a better rise  from my starter now.

Fiddlerkelly 2018 December 24

Well finally got the right basket and cloth liner for it , I also got some rice flour for putting on the basket and liner. I made up some dough wasn’t sure if it was going to work out as it was slow rising, but when I put it in the oven I was surprised at the results but final test is when it gets cut and tasted. 

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