I will sometimes get a message like this:
“Charity, something is wrong! My dough rises just fine for the first rise, but when I go to shape it, it’s a sloppy mess and won’t hold it’s form.”
This tells me that the first rise was too long… which is an easy solution.
The bulk rise is usually 6-8 hours but times can vary depending on the temperature of the water and of the room.
So just lower the first time by an hour or so if this is happening to you.
You could also add a tbs or 2 of flour to the recipe you are mixing to give it a little more "structure."
This little technique might seem simple, but it’s also an important part of getting great loaves.
Experts say to stretch the dough about 4 times within the first hour, but as you learned in class…
my dough and I have agreed that twice is enough 🙂
If for some reason your starter doesn’t look right, smell right, feel right or is just giving you attitude, then I highly suggest A REFRESH!!!
Here’s what you do:Make sure the starter is at room temperature.
Remove all but ¼ cup of the starter and feed with fresh flour and water.
Do this same step for 2 or 3 days or just until you have a nice bubbly starter again.
Sometimes it gets finicky and just needs a “factory reset”.
It is almost impossible to “kill” a starter, and this will do the trick the majority of the time.
Remember that if you choose to store your starter in the fridge, it still needs to be fed fresh flour about once a week!
Also, if you want to see my favorite bread tools (i.e. parchment paper, Dutch oven, lame, etc.) just click here.