I have made sourdough bread several times using roughly the same technique that I use when I make artisan bread. I let it ferment several times folding between them.

I have found that when the dough has risen enough it is so acidic that even a gentle fold causes the top surface to pull apart. When the dough is risen the last time as a boulle it relaxes so much that it practically flows. The resultant bread is too flat and sadly dense.

I have experimented with adding more flour to provide more structure but this only make the loaf tougher- not higher or more open. I have tried with AP flour and various wheat flours and combinations thereof. Do I need more gluten? Would adding vital gluten be enough?

How should I change my process to create a sourdough loaf that is more open and can rise higher?

2 Answers 2


I suspect your sourdough starter is just too acidic. I have no similar problems with sourdough in the past, but my starter isn't particularly acidic.

Have you tried discarding with a large refresh and then shortly (in bakers terms) trying a new loaf? Trying to isolate just the yeast and not the sour part. The loaf may not taste sourdoughy, but it should determine if that's the issue.


If your boule looks glorious in the banneton but then collapses the minute you put it on the tray to bake it, I think it’s over-proved. You could always just poke your fingers in it to create dimples, pour some olive oil over it, and call it focaccia. In short, maybe just try proving it for a shorter amount of time. I’m referring to the second rise here.

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