New on sourdough – Problem with dough

New on sourdough – Problem with dough

Hi, this is my first post and I hope it´s not a duplicate since I´ve not been able to find similar problem so far.

I tried to develop a two starters, and they seems to be ok. Lot´s of bubbles and when refreshing it takes between 6-8 hours to have the mix doubling in size and with good structure.

Than my problems starts. I tried both starters more than once and the same problem happens.

When trying a very basic white sourdough (20% starter, plain white flour only, 70% water) something very weird happens. I mix the dough, wait for the autolyse, mix in the salt and start either the “stretch and fold” cycle or the more usual kneading process. What happens is that when the dough should be ready for bulk fermenting it seems to be dissolving in my hands, like the gluten was completely destroyed or not developed. The “dough” looks even “grainy”.

I tried once to go for bulk fermenting and after it it was impossible to shape since the dough has no structure. In another opportunity I even tried to bake like it is but final result (as expected) was a greyish brick (some bread taste but very weird structure and color).

Sometimes it looks even good during “stretch and fold” but I do not feel the gluten forming as time goes by. Usually the dough increases in size but the structure is rather weak.

My first culprit was the flour (maybe rotten dur to high temperatures in Rio de Janeiro) but I used the same flours with yeasted dough successfully.

What else? I even thought about the water but again, I use the same water for other doughs pretty successfully.

Maybe I am developing the wrong bacteria? But twice, in different moments, one starter based in white flour + rye + water only and the other using some grapes to develop the starter?

I am becoming quite anxious to bake my first sourdough! I’ve baking bread for less than an year now but had been rather successful with yeasted breads.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Cheers from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Cassius.

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Source: Fresh Loaf