19) Sourdough Sunday: The day the bread exploded


This is my *least* successful sourdough to date, though I'm still eating it with gusto!

I attempted to adjust my timing from the thrice-risen loaf so that baking could happen after the first 'rise'.  I'm hoping that this might reduce the sour flavour (less fermentation time), which might make the stuff more palatable to J.  I'm also expecting that it will affect the texture, too, though I'm not sure quite what I expect in that department.

This time, though, I messed up:

  • The dough was noticeably wetter than last time.  I added more flour, but I think it was a case of 'too little, too late'.
  • I forgot the sugar.
  • I forgot the salt.
  • I still didn't get the timing right, and had to knock it back before bed.

It was just one of those evenings – I'd intended to make bread the evening before, but I didn't, and then I was rushing around like a headless chicken, so I just went for it, and … well.

I don't really think the bread 'exploded', by the way.  There wasn't enough mess in the bread maker for that.  I *do* think that it over-rose the bucket and started to drip over the sides, which caused the bubble which is the top of the loaf to burst and collapse…  This is what it looked like when it was still in the bucket:


Taste wise, it's a bit dull and flat (surprise!  No salt or sugar!).  The texture is much more open than previous loaves, which is also probably due to the lack of salt and the extra moisture:


It still feels very moist, too.  (Apart from the crispy stuff on the top, which the dogs think I made especially for them!)  And although the bubbles in the crumb are large, the bread between them is dense and somewhat rubbery.  If I had to pick a word to describe this bread, it would be 'clammy'.  Appealing, no?

In mitigation, I have to say it's not bad toasted, though it really needs butter (salted butter!).  Actually, in this form, it really reminds me of crumpets!

Next time:

  • Remember all the ingredients.
  • Measure all the flour for a standard loaf in advance, then use some of that to feed/build the starter.


  • I could get away with forgetting the sweetening, but not the salt! And oddly, I do forget to add salt more than I ought.
    Interesting about the bread. But that just goes with the experimentation territory, doesn’t it. I figure it’s all a learning process and in the end it will help me learn how to make that perfect loaf of sourdough bread!

    14th February 2010
  • I read recently that adding a little baking soda reduces the sourness of the bread. I haven’t tried it yet because, unexpectedly, my kids liked the sour. But it might be worth an experiment!

    15th February 2010

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