Leaven looks great, but sinks with the float test.

I am doubling the table loaf recipe.
(20g starter, 50g water, 50g whole week). In 5 hours, my leaven has doubled in size, is airy and bubbly, but sinks like a rock when doing the float test. Is it good to use?

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A Simple Sourdough Starter
Recipe question for: A Simple Sourdough Starter

18 Comments

Donna W. December 8, 2019
I will send a photo after they cool to check the crumb.
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Donna W. December 8, 2019
Loaf #2
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Donna W. December 8, 2019
Loaf #1
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boulangere December 8, 2019
Lovely!
 
Donna W. December 8, 2019
Finally cut!
 
Donna W. December 8, 2019
Finally cut!
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Donna W. December 8, 2019
Is it suppose to look this way? I would still like to try your recipe, boulangere!
 
boulangere December 8, 2019
It looks beautiful, Donna. I'll start posting the recipe to you tomorrow. If you need to give your starter a feed, do so tonight, then let it sit at cool room temperature overnight.
 
Donna W. December 8, 2019
Oh, great! I was trying to decide whether or not to feed it before bed! I fed my new starter at 10:30am and changed the flour to rye and AP and it rose and passed the float test, but I didn’t have time for bulk fermentation. So, I’ll refresh it now.
I really appreciate your support and I can wait for your recipe!
 
Donna W. December 7, 2019
I’m a beginner baker, so if you have a trusted recipe, I would love for you to share!
 
boulangere December 7, 2019
Glad to. It would be easiest if you DM me your email address. Here is a photo of the most recent bake. I'm starting a new leaven tonight that I'll turn into dough tomorrow, then shape it, overnight it, and bake it on Monday.

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Donna W. December 7, 2019
Beautiful! I’m not sure if I know how to DM you. My email address is [email protected]
 
boulangere December 7, 2019
Got it, thanks. To DM anyone, click on the person's name. On their page, click on the small envelope, write your message, and click Send.
 
Donna W. December 7, 2019
Done!
 
Donna W. December 7, 2019
Jennifer,
Thank you for your response! I have decided to go ahead and use the leaven to make bread. I thought it would be helpful to know weather or not it works.

Boulangere,
Thank you for getting in touch with me. I’m doubling Sarah Owens table loaf recipe. I feed the starter on the counter for 3 days. The single leaven ingredients were: 10g active starter, 25g whole wheat flour 25g water. Then you add 60g leaven that to 300g water, 310g bread flour, 80g whole wheat and 8g salt. It was a very thick leaven. I’m amazed that there isn’t one standard recipe for sourdough! I can’t find two alike...
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boulangere December 7, 2019
Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
 
boulangere December 7, 2019
That isn't a lot of starter for the volume of water and flour you're using. When I begin a leaven, I use equal parts starter, water, and flour, then let it sit overnight to fully develop. You might try rebalancing yours with an additional 30 grams of starter, then similarly allow it to grow overnight.
 
Stephanie B. December 7, 2019
Is it possible you're deflating your starter in trying to do the float test, and by the time you get a little piece in the water you knocked all the air out it? This is not hard to do for sticky, 100% hydration starters, especially if you're new to handling them.

You could try again, from a different portion of your starter (assuming you haven't deflated it), taking care to scoop out starter with as little agitation as possible. Use a wet spoon and use it more to decisively cut out a lump of starter, rather than spooning (which would stretch and deflate the starter). You could also re-feed and let it rise again if you're concerned it's overripe. But I say try baking with it, yours sounds healthy from what you described. Sourdough baking is a bit of a learning curve, best to dive right in and be open to experimentation.
 
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