Pasta Madre

So, yesterday I made my first loaf of bread, using our wonderful pasta madre, but it did not come out as good as I hoped. The bread appeared to have not risen enough, and came out very dense. Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions?


robino's picture

there are many ways of making

there are many ways of making bread. take everyone's suggestions and tips and tricks as you like, and find your own way of doing it, by mixing what you feel like doing.

Freya also just made a recipe of how she makes her bread:

valentina's picture

knead the bread

I believe the most important secret is to knead the bread long enough. At least 10-15 minutes (not 10 times!).

I've done some more experiment with Daan from PV here in NY and even without using warm water not all the other precautions the bread came out better than any other I tasted so far.

we kept the kneaded bread in the oven (switched off, dark and at stable ambient temperature) for the night, then the next morning we compacted it and reshaped again. then we waited until the afternoon to bake it. It took 16hrs but it was completely worth it.

If you want to compromise, just give a shape to the bread after kneading it and wait for the night. Bake in the morning.

Always add salt at the end of the kneading, and oil or butter at the beginning (when you mix pastamadre with flour).

Another thing I learned is that you can keep the pastamadre pretty liquid as polish people do. In that way you don't need to refresh it for 2-3 days. Just get rid of the crusty part on top and refresh with organic flour.

50% white flour and 50% whole grain seems to be better than 100% whole grain.

For different taste, add rosemary, fried onions, fresh tomato, nuts... or whatever you like...

happy pastamadre!

sarah's picture

yep you should knit the bread

yep you should knit the bread long enough! until you're sweating, they say ;)
The "10 times" is for the second time you're knitting it, in between the 2 rising.

I think I'm gonna try the fried onions!!

sarah's picture

Hello Davide! there could be

Hello Davide!

there could be many reasons for the bread not to rise. First, it could be that the pasta madre is a bit sleepy and it'll more active after being refreshed for a few days. (you'll see the little bubbles and it'll smell a bit like yogurt).

To make sur the bread rises well, it should rest in a room with a constant temperature (in a bowl wrapped with a cloth). Not necessarily warm, although the warmer it is, the faster it'll be.

When you make the dough, you can use lukewarm water, which will help. And all your instruments should be about the same temperature.

One way to be pretty sure it'll rise is to make the dough at night, leave it to rise the whole night, then knock it back in the morning (and add extra ingredients at that moment if wished), knitted about 10 times only and put to rise for 1-2 hours before baking it.

Just before baking, draw a cross or something else on top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

The oven should be very warm (highest temperature) when you put the dough in. Open it fast so you don't loose too much heat. And don't open it the 15-20 first minutes it's in!

You should get the perfect loaf soon ;)

PS: to get a very nice crust, put a little bowl with water in the oven when it's preheating and leave it when you bake the bread.

dcarpano's picture


This was very helpful! I will try some of the advice on my next loaf!