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Dennis Posted - Jun 04 2018 : 07:10:03 AM
I made two attempts at the week-long process of creating a ‘mother’. Things seemed to go very well, until bake day. On both occasions, my loaves didn’t raise one iota. I was meticulous, really and now I’m quite frustrated. I was using Quinoa flour that I’d ground with the attachment of my KitchenAid stand mixer. Ideas? Suggestions?

BTW...very new to this website and this process, but not new, at all, to baking.
10   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
MaryJane Posted - Nov 04 2018 : 9:14:19 PM
I fixed it Mary. Try the link now and let us know.
mbermani Posted - Nov 04 2018 : 8:10:38 PM
I'm using Kamut flour. It is bubbling and fluffy. Didn't see much difference between week 1&2.
The link you included isn't working any more it said.
Ashley Posted - Nov 04 2018 : 12:54:46 PM
Hi, since you're on week 3, your mother might just not be mature enough to raise breads. It isn't uncommon for it to take at least 4 weeks to get your mother established. I talk about this issue in depth here:

Which flour are you using? Is your mother actively bubbling between feedings? Also, did you notice a difference in the strength of the rise between weeks 1 and 2?
mbermani Posted - Nov 04 2018 : 08:23:34 AM
Hi, I’m jumping in here. I followed the regiment and the mothers each of the first 2weeks were bubbling
and promising. But neither time did they come close to rising to the tops of the bowl. The first week I baked
them and they are just too dense. The second week t tough I’d not left it tour long enough, and that’s a disasterr
As well. I’m on my 3rd week and holding my breath. Suggestions ?
Ashley Posted - Jul 07 2018 : 11:22:41 AM
Two successful Bake Days is wonderful news, and I’m glad to hear that your breads taste great too. I have a coulple questions. How close to the top edge of the pan are your breads rising to? Have you noticed whether or not your breads are rising more with each Bake Day? And finally, are you seeing plenty of air bubbles in your breads?
Watessa Posted - Jul 05 2018 : 8:19:57 PM
Thanks for responding, Ashley. I've had two successful weeks of baking in the bowls and last week I tried the bread pans. The bread is delicious, but it still doesn't seem to rise as much as it should. Any suggestions?
Ashley Posted - Jun 19 2018 : 09:28:02 AM
Hi Watessa, and welcome to the chatroom!

The mark you're seeing on your towels is a watermark from the towel drying out. It should come right out in the wash. As mentioned on p. 28 of the book, you want to change the towel out at least once a week. How often you change out the towel is really up to you, but once one of these watermarks appear, I like to replace the towel.

I'm glad to hear your week 2 Bake Day had satisfactory results. It's a great sign that you're already seeing some rise at week 2. Usually by week 4, your batter breads will be rising to the edge of the pan. I recently posted some images of my week 3 Bake Day using my Kamut mother. Check them out here: http://wildbread.net/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=163
Watessa Posted - Jun 18 2018 : 12:51:18 PM
I am starting my third week. The first week I did everything by the book and my loaves didn't raise either. About every two days, I would notice a stain on the towel covering the bowl and I would exchange it for a new, clean towel. I never saw this issue addressed in the book, other than to say to put a clean cloth on each week.

Week 2, I used the 1/2 c of Week 1's Mother, but I decided to leave the same cloth on all week. I don't know what the stain is...yeast? By the end of the week, the stain had grown to cover the whole area above the bowl and seemed to absorb all of the water wicked up by the towel. I live in Denver and the humidity was in the single digits and teens. Crazy or not, I kept a small "paint" brush nearby to try to rehydrate the top of the towel without making it so wet it would drip into the Mother.

Week 2 baking day went a lot better! I set one bowl of the dough on a heating pad at the lowest setting and the other right next to it. The one with the heating pad raised slightly better, but I doubt I'll use it again. Neither raised to the top of the bowl, but within 1/2". Both bowls baked up beautifully. They are sour and a little denser than they should be, but I'm hoping this week they will raise better and fix that issue.

I used Kamut flour.
Dennis Posted - Jun 04 2018 : 2:07:40 PM
OK Ashley, thanks for the pep talk. I did a very foolish thing when I didn’t get a second positive result. I threw out my mother. I am a lot ashamed and a little stubborn, so I’ll begin again. I really want this to work!
Thanks again,
Ashley Posted - Jun 04 2018 : 10:34:50 AM
Hi Dennis and welcome to the chatroom. Is your quinoa mother bubbling at all? Does it smell sour?

Because the process of creating a mother is about cultivating wild yeasts present on the grains and from the air that surrounds you, the process can take at least a month, as discussed on p. 23 of the book. In my experience, after the first week of feedings, the rise will be negligible. At week 2, you may see a little more rise, but it's unlikely that the breads will loft well. By week 3, you may start to see loft in breads. By week 4, if you're still not seeing any rise or activity, something's amiss. During the early weeks, the Quick & Easy Sourdough-Enhanced Treats section (pp. 172-189) is a great place to start using your mother on Bake Days. I have a 1 1/2 week old oat-flour mother I'm experimenting with and made a big mess of waffles last Bake Day. This week, I'll probably make pancakes. Next week, if I start to see more activity, I will try a batter bread.

I understand that it can be discouraging/frustrating to feed a mother for weeks with little success, but given time, your mother will rise breads. If someone told me 10 years ago that you can make breads by mixing a bowl of flour and water together, I would have looked at them blankly and thought that there was no way I was going to bake breads without the help of a trusty package of yeast. Once I started the process and saw/tasted the actual results, I was a convert, but it did take some time to get there.