My sourdough kept being flat

My sourdough kept being flat

Yes, you read that right, my sourdough bread kept being flat and I’ve been obsessed with working out why all week.

I really thought I had it, that I could make sourdough bread with no problems at all, I was so wrong.

Why is my sourdough flat

This isn’t a new topic for me, and I really thought I had it worked out. Then, all I was getting was flat bread. Didn’t seem to matter how much I proofed it.

To say I was getting frustrated would be an understatement. I even considered giving up after each one, well for about a minute. However, I am a problem solver and I needed to work out what was going wrong.

My sourdough kept being flat


Really all you can do is hit the web and see what reasons there could be. I looked at heaps of websites and read a lot. Still, it was hard because how can you get help when people don’t really know what you are doing with your bread.

Finally, I found a page that had a heap of suggestions and the first one was about the starter.

Starter being too acidic

This is not something that I really thought was possible. However, as I read the description I thought, I bet that is it. My starter was thick, even though I used the same amount of water and flour in it. Or rather weight.

One thing I have noticed is that different flours absorb water differently. My rye flour starter is always much thicker than the white flour one. It also stank quite a bit. In this article, I found it suggested adding more water than flour, so maybe with 50 grams of flour add 60 grams of water.

I thought this has to be it and there wasn’t enough yeast in the starter. So I did what they suggest and can you believe it the loaf rose. Okay maybe not as much as I would like, but it wasn’t flat.

My sourdough kept being flat

Success and no more sourdough being flat

Then I decided it was still too thick, so now I am trying 50 grams of flour and 65 grams of water.

I made another loaf yesterday and baked it today. OMG, when I lifted the lid on the dutch oven and saw lots of oven spring and a high loaf I almost jumped with joy.

Always learning

I guess it goes to show that just when you thought you had it all worked out there is still more to learn.

There was a thought that it might be caused by the change of seasons, but I am happy that I can work around that now. So lots of bread coming up for the summer. Must remember to keep a closer eye on the starter.

Finally and Susie

I’m still trying to work out what I am doing here. I love doing the videos and find them faster and easier to do so there might be more of those, who knows.

It is getting to that busy time of the year, though a very strange Christmas for many. I am so grateful that our State Premier, Daniel Andrews, did what he did and looks like we are going to have a fairly normal Christmas. We have had no new cases of Covid 19 for around 35 days now. The lockdown worked so well. I think I even read our economy is starting to recover.

I hope those in lockdown around the world are encouraged by what we went through. It was tough, but we got through it. Now things are looking good and every day we cross our fingers hoping the results will be 0 new cases.

I thought for this post I would leave you with a photo of Susie, our cat. She is hanging around the house with us during all this.

My sourdough kept being flat

There she is looking outside to the garden.

Take care everyone.

My sourdough kept being flat

You might be interested in …


    1. It is frustrating, and I’m always on edge to see if it works. I wonder myself sometimes if it is worth it. lol
      thank you

  1. Your sourdough bread (which “looks delicious”, by the way) must be made of white flour. Is that so? I mix whole flour (some local, ancient ones included) plus whole rye flour and my breads never rise that much.

    1. It has a fair bit of white flour, but I also use rye in it as well. I’m not a big fan of whole flour, though I have heard you should definitely do an autolyse if you do use it. Thank you.

  2. Hi Leanne, I am glad that you posted that. I had similar experiences when I would bake with rye flour or just whole wheat, and learned that I have to add more water, for the reasons you mentioned. I keep feeding my starter with white bread flour, that way it’s always consistent. When I ever I feel like baking a rye bread , I add that rye flour when making the dough with more water, the same goes for whole wheat. Just a thought sending to you. Happy rising bread from now on.

    1. I have both starters, but I really like the rye starter, I think it gives the bread a great flavour. Now that I know to add more water to it, I’m sure it will be a lot more successful. Thank you Cornelia.

  3. i applaud you, i very recently started making bread and it’s a huge accomplishment when it works –

  4. I would suggest adding thermite, but I might have been watching too much “Mythbusters” recently… I’m glad to hear that you’re going to get a normal Christmas! I’m not sure that we’re going to be in the same galactic sector as normal anytime soon. Enjoy it for us!

    1. I haven’t heard of thermite, what is it? It seems to be better now, so I am pleased.
      We are really glad too, it almost feels like normal times except for having to wear masks indoors. I really hope that things get sorted where you are. It is very disruptive really. Though we are still pretty much living like we are still in lockdown. Thank you.

    2. A poor attempt at a joke – thermite is a high explosive, one of the running gags is that there’s no problem that enough of it won’t solve.

    3. Haha, yes, I guess the joke only works if the person knows what it is. I can understand how it would solve lots of problems. Thanks for that Paul

  5. The bread looks good to me, Leanne. But then bread always looks good to me….. Susie is adorable! My three cats are indoor only cats and have a passing interest in looking out the window. Susie looks like she is read to spring free!

    1. This bread did actually work Lois, I didn’t photograph the flat stuff. lol
      Susie is also an indoor cat. Though she likes to roll around on the cement out the front door, but we don’t let her go any further. She is really good. Thank you Lois.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from LEANNE COLE

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading