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I mixed 400gr of flour with 200 of starter, plus 280 ml of water and a bit of salt. I worked it with the slap and fold method and left it overnight. Sadly this morning I woke up to find it only about one third increased in volume. I had a similar experience two days ago, when I baked the loaf but the crumb was dense and the loaf went in the bin. Is there anything that I can do now to rescue the loaf before I bake it? Would it be possible to mix in some regular yeast for example? Thank for your help!

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    Not part of your question, but: Is your sourdough active (i.e. rising well during feedings)? What's the room temperature?
    – Stephie
    Mar 24 at 8:38
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    Did you leave it out on the counter, or refrigerate it? Are you sure it didn't rise and then collapse? You might be thinking you starter isn't working, but maybe it's the opposite and it's working really well. Why don't you make a loaf when you can watch what it does.
    – GdD
    Mar 24 at 8:54
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    If it’s under proofed, extra yeast might work, but getting it well distributed is going to be a problem. You’d likely get the same result just putting the dough in a warm place and letting it rise longer if that’s the issue
    – Joe
    Mar 24 at 9:01
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    In my cool kitchen (or a fridge) that's quite plausible and another few hours at room temp would help a lot. In winter I go for overnight in the fridge then take out in the morning to bake in the evening for about 20 hours total.
    – Chris H
    Mar 24 at 14:28
  • What temperature your kitchen is, is the critical question here.
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 24 at 19:59

2 Answers 2

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If it’s currently winter for many of us, it’s possible that your dough just needs more time as bread rises slowly when it’s cold.

If that’s the case, you can try moving it to a warmer location

Although there is ‘instant yeast’, which can be mixed straight into dough as you’re making it, I don’t think it’s intended to be added after the dough is made, and further manipulation to get it well distributed may over knead the dough.

You also mentioned that you used ‘brown flour’ in a follow up comment. If this is not the same type of flour as what you have been feeding to your sourdough starter, it may be slower as the yeasts haven’t been specifically bred to consume that flour.

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You can heat the oven a bit(1-2 Cº) while it rests.
I use this this trick when I want to make the bread faster.

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  • How do you heat the oven to 1-2°C? Or how cold is your home normally? My fridge is warmer. I guess that’s a typo?
    – Stephie
    Mar 25 at 9:32
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    I imagine they mean one or two degrees warmer than the ambient temperature.
    – Spagirl
    Apr 5 at 9:05

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