Best Way to Rise Sourdough Bread Plus Flour Tips

Everyones’ wish is to have bread that rises the right way, So below you’ll see the best way to rise sourdough.

What Is The Best Way To Rise Sourdough Bread?

The best way to have the best rise possible for sourdough bread is to use a hydration percentage that you’re comfortable with and make sure to keep an eye on how the dough is developing especially during the fermentation process. Higher hydration in your recipes is not necessarily better, the higher hydration the faster the yeast develops. 

The foundation of making your dough is what’s going to determine how your bread comes out once baked. The quality of your bread depends on the ingredients- the flour, amount of water and the streghth of the strater- you use and how well they’re combined. Additionally, the type of flour used will affect how well your bread bakes because every flour has different properties—some can hold more water than others and some are higher in protein. This will be talked about more in detail below.

Feeling the dough is essential as it rises to make sure that it has the right type of texture and has a light and bubbly feel to it as it rises to signal that there is still some tension especially when you poke it. You want to also make sure that the yeast doesn’t run out by the time you start baking your bread. 

The temperature of your ingredients is just as important, having water that is too hot can kill your yeast so you want to make sure that the ingredients work well together and they’re processing the way it should be by making sure that you use the right temperature for all ingredients used.

Having a good rise is very important and everyone’s goal. Understanding how to have better sourdough bread and how hydration plays a role in making really good sourdough bread will make all the difference in how well it comes out. 

Tips You Can Use To Have Better Sourdough Bread

Here are a few tips you can use to have better sourdough bread

  1. Put a pan or pizza stone in your oven below whatever you’re baking your sourdough in
  2. When creating your scores don’t make it as deep in your bread
  3. Instead of eyeing your bread to see if it has expanded when it rises use volume to see how much it has grown
  4. Your dough should have time to rise correctly 
  5. Make sure that your starter is at its peak, if it’s not done don’t use it 

Using a pan or Pizza stone

Putting a pan or pizza stone at the bottom of the oven prevents the bottom of the bread from burning. Using the pan prevents the heat from directly hitting the bottom of the sourdough bread pan directly. 

Scoring your bread

Scoring your bread usually helps with allowing your bread to bake in the right places. Not scoring your bread will cause the bread once risen to burst in areas that you don’t need it to burst and usually it’s the bottom. 

How deep your score should be in your bread really depends on if it’s underproofed or over-proofed. If it’s underproofed it’s more likely to spread and rise bigger so deeper would be ideal so it has places to go. If it’s over-proofed you don’t want to do deep scores as it might be deflated if you score too deeply.

In this article I explain a little bit more about scoring and why it’s helpful for the bread.

Basically the deeper you slice you are increasing the depth of the crust once baked and it will pull back more. Not cutting it deep enough can stunt it from expanding which can lead to the bread blowing out. 

Measure the volume of the sourdough

It is very much popular to just eye the dough once risen and then do next steps. But it is suggested that if and when your dough rises to measure the volume of the dough to see exactly how much it actually has grown. 

You want to see at least a 50% growth before moving to the next steps of shaping and refrigerating. Doing it this way removes other variables of just depending on time, ingredients and temperature and you’re just mainly focusing on the rise of the dough.

Dough needs to rise properly 

If your dough isn’t fluffy and bubbly that means that you haven’t given it enough time for your dough to rise. It is very crucial that you allow the yeast to do its thing and create the necessary gluten and rise needed to create bread and bubbles to form within the bread so there’s holes within. 

Not allowing the dough to properly rise can lead to a rubbery and dense texture. If you want an airy texture you can’t cut corners and skip this step.

Starter not ready

We all get it the starter can take a lot of time and sometimes we get impatient. But not having a starter that is at its peak meaning that it has risen and grown can cause your bread not to rise properly. 

It can cause you to have a cake that is very dense and flat. Which may lead to you throwing out your bread. If your starter is not doubling over the course of a few days don’t continue with the next step either start over or troubleshoot the issues. 

Why Hydration Is Important In Sourdough? 

Hydration plays a huge factor in how well your bread will rise and bake. It determines the type of texture your bread will come out with– a looser or tighter crumb. Depending on how hydrated your dough is, it also affects how you would handle the dough and how well you can shape it and this will depend highly on experience.

The wetter the dough the harder it is to handle and sometimes though you meant to shape your dough into a shape you might just end up having to make a flatbread or focaccia bread.

The sweet spot for hydration in sourdough bread is usually about 70%, some even like it to be at 65%. Knowing which flour would work better with the hydration for your recipe is very important as not every flour will handle the water as well as other types.

Flour that has a higher protein intake will usually be a dryer dough and tend to be stiffer and stronger to work with because of the gluten. But it will usually create a very tight crumb like a bagel. If the flour has lower protein it will tend to create a softer looser texture and runs the risk of the dough being a bit weaker. Experience is needed in order to create dough that is able to bake into a structured shape such as sourdough especially if using higher hydration in recipes.

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