From a few weeks I've been trying to make sourdough. The most successful recipe for me and for the time I have I found is Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe using a stand mixer - Sourdough Lamination In the recipe it said that it needs 3 hours in room temperature + 30 min in refrigerator and then you bake.

Because I don't have that time in one I leave it on the counter for 1 hour then let the sourdough in the refrigerator overnight (10 hours) and bake it in the morning. The whole wheat flour I use is with 13% protein.

I found the dough "flattened" and without so much holes and somehow I feel like it's not so fermented. Is it possible for 10 hour fermentation in the refrigerator? How can I improve the dough and do I need more fermentation time maybe in room temperature? The dough is fine, not so wet it can be shaped. I added picture in the end to show what I mean.

The recipe is:

  • 200 g. white flour
  • 100 g. whole wheat flour
  • 240 g. water
  • 6 g salt
  • 90g starter
  • 40g pumpkin seeds


  • 345 g flour (45 from starter)
  • 285 g water (45 from starter)
  • 2% salt
  • 82.6% hydration

enter image description here

  • 1
    The time will depend on the activity of your starter, but what's the rising, transferring and baking process - in the recipe and in your kitchen? If I get enough rise for really big bubbles I only have to look at it funny and it collapses, let alone transfer it into the pan I bake it in. I actually aim for a denser loaf because it makes better lunches IMO
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


First of all, that's quite a decent looking loaf. It doesn't look dense or overly pancaked. The crumb is consistent, with good bubble formation. A lot of amateur bakers would be quite proud to achieve that result. So give yourself a pat on the back before you start trying to improve further.

Now, 82% hydration is quite high, even for a whole wheat loaf. High hydration free-form whole wheat loaves are notoriously difficult to shape well, simply because the dough is so loose. Careful shaping and skillful oven control (including steam) are necessary to get a good loft in those circumstances.

Now, three hours at room temperature is not enough time to develop significant sourdough taste. Neither is ten hours in the refrigerator. (Ten hours in a cool room would be closer.) As more fermentation occurs, however, the gluten structure will weaken, leading to a flatter loaf.

So overall, I'd suggest you try a lower hydration and a longer cold rest (but, if possible, at a slightly higher temperature than your refrigerator).

  • Thank you for the good explanation, till now I was only reading about how to make your own sourdough bread but there was no one to ask these questions so this would help me a lot. I was trying also to leave the dough in the refrigerator for 20 hours (so I can bake the dough the next evening) but I found it was flatter than ever. I will try lower hydration and longer rest on higher temperature than refrigerator as you recommend me and will make an update how it was going. Thanks a bunch again!
    – developer
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 7:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.