What a Flop!

As I’m learning about the complexity of sourdough, I’ve had some great outcomes, many of which I’ve photographed and posted. But I’ve also had a LOT of failures. It’s all part of the learning process.

This post is about one colossal flop that I believe was due to over proofing, or over fermentation.

My goal for many of the recipes I use is to find or convert recipes with at least a 7-8 hour ferment that can be left out on the counter overnight and then shaped and baked in the morning. This timing works well for my schedule, and almost all of the recipes I’ve posted here follow this pattern: 1. Take the starter out of the refrigerator and feed the starter at least three times (6 plus hours in between) before mixing the recipe. 2. Mix the dough recipe or at least all of the flour for the recipe the evening before I want to bake. This allows a bulk fermentation for all of the flour so that the process can work on the carbs for at least 7 hours (per Trim Healthy Mama [THM] guidelines). 3. In the morning shape the dough and place it in the pan. 4. Usually there is a short second rise of about an hour till the dough just rises above the pan rim. 5. Bake the bread/rolls/bagels as directed.

I love the soft whole wheat sandwich loaf (see my post on this recipe from Baking a Moment elsewhere https://bakingamoment.com/soft-whole-wheat-bread/) and bake it almost weekly for morning toast. Well this particular morning I had multiple meetings and had to navigate around them for baking time. I allowed the dough to rise in the pan not one hour but more than two and it was just over proofed. I read through other sour dough blogs and have gathered that was the problem.

Here’s a fed starter ready to go! Looks like it needs a larger container!
The bread dough rose too much and then fell over the side of the pan in the oven.
It didn’t have the strength to rise straight up.
I trimmed off the part that fell over the pan and was able to slice the loaf as usual. Looked funny but tasted great!

Sourdough Cornbread

Trim Healthy Mama (THM) a diet plan I follow loosely, recommends cornmeal in very small amounts in the form of Masa Harina. Brianna Thomas is a blogger I rely on for great recipes

Gwen’s Nest is another blogger with great recipes that are THM friendly

Glenda Groff is another blogger with great THM and sourdough recipes

But I wanted to try to sour through the use of sourdough starter the cornmeal and see how that worked. I’m using the recipe of Shannon Stonger from her book Traditionally Fermented Foods and her blog Nourishing Days.


Here is her recipe:


  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 2 cups whole grain cornmeal
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (or bacon grease)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

I mixed the sourdough starter, cornmeal, and milk the night before and let it ferment for 24 hours. I substituted my homemade yogurt for the milk. In the evening I mixed in the other ingredients and baked in a cast-iron skillet. Here’s the results, soft, almost cake-like that went great with beans.


A classic breakfast bread that can ‘do lunch’ too with the addition of smoked salmon and veggies or other sandwich fixings is on everyone’s favorites list. I ate my first bagel when I was a young adult visiting a nursing conference, and bagels and cream cheese with strawberry jam were served. I still think that’s the best way to eat bagels. While I was eating bagels with cream cheese, a very young Steven was tasting his first chocolate M & M with his grandma, but that’s another story…

Sourdough bagels might sound intimidating but they are super easy and straightforward. The recipe I used is from Little Spoon Farm, one of my favorite sourdough blog siteshttps://littlespoonfarm.com/sourdough-bagels-recipe/

This is an overnight recipe and fits my schedule perfectly. Mix up the dough with active starter. That means you have fed the starter out of the refrigerator about 3 times and it is bubbly and will float if a spoonful is placed in water.

The dough will be stiff. I knead it in the mixer for a few minutes then stretch a bit by hand.

Let ferment on the counter overnight. In the morning you shape the dough and let it rise for about an hour. During this time I turn the oven on (helps with a warmer environment to rise the dough) and start the water boiling.

Puffy bagels ready for boiling

When the bagels have risen about an hour and are puffy, they are ready to boil. Boil 2 minutes on each side. Flip them over and give them another 2 minutes in the boiling water bath. The small amount of sugar in the water bath will help ensure that shiny, chewy crust.

Then remove from the water bath, dip or sprinkle toppings and bake.

First try.
Second batch.

Fresh bagels in almost the same time as waiting in line on a Saturday morning at Noah’s! Same chewy, crunchy texture, pure ingredients from your home kitchen!

Update: I just used the same recipe but substituted the Turkey Red hard red wheat for the bread flour. I added two tablespoons of vital wheat gluten.

Out of the boiling water bath and ready to bake.
Whole Wheat Bagels, rose pretty much as the white flour version did.