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Last night was the first time I made up sourdough bread. I hand kneaded the dough til it was nice and smooth and elastic, felt to me like a nice regular dough. It was kneaded for at least 10 mins, and tested perfectly. I know the kneading shouldn't have been an issue.

Left it to rise overnight (as per instructions) and this morning when I went to shape it into loaves it was *very* soft, like won't hold a shape soft. I've got the "balls" (er blobs) doing their 2nd rising, this time in a slightly warm oven and they just seem formless.

Any ideas? I have a big jar of nice bubbly sourdough starter and I want this to work because it seems *so* easy to leave it to rise overnight and bake the next day!

Cindy :)
 

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The only thing I can think of if it felt good after kneading was that it was over-proofed. Occasionally I would get busy at work and forget about my croissants in the proofing box and they came out big and soft and gooey.

How long (in hours) was the rise? Overnight can mean a lot of things. What was the temp. where you left it to rise? Generally, overnight rises should be cooler thatn "regular" rises.
 

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Hmm, it's very possible it overproofed. I made it up last night around 10pm, but didn't get back to it til 11am this morning (kids sorta let me sleep in). It was fairly cool in my kitchen (it always is), but it certainly is possible that it went too long.

Next time I'll see if I can get it started in the morning and proof in slightly warmer conditions to speed up the process, see if that makes any difference.

Cindy :)
 

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"Over proofed - dough becomes too weak, collapses. Use shorter proof time."

Here is more info:

"While flattening can occur from hydration (particularly with baguettes) it mainly has to do with the fermentation and proof. Dough that is over-proofed will collapse on itself when you try to slash it or, in some extreme cases, if you even touch it. The reason for this is because the gluten has been broken down by the bacteria and yeast that it can no longer support the structure of the bread. Bread that is over proofed will also be really sour. While some people like sour bread, it will generally be at a detriment to your big, holey, irregular crumb. This can also happen with your starter. A well proofed starter will have doubled (atleast) in volume, be full of bubbles and will just be starting to collapse on itself, but if you reached in a pulled some of it out, it will still have thick strands of gluten keeping it elastic and extensible. If it is proofed for too long, the gluten will break down and you will eventually have a soupy mass that won't stretch at all because it will be a liquid. If a loaf is proofed too long, it will start to collapse when you try to slash it or when you transfer it to a peel. Hydration can be as high as 85% and while you won't be able to shape it, you will be able to get really big holes without it flattening on you even though the dough will seem flat before you bake it, it will puff up in the oven."
 
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