What’s the deal with my gummy sourdough bread?

What’s the deal with my gummy sourdough bread?

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Consumers are drawn to sourdough bread for two reasons: the crunchy surface and the soft, somewhat sour inside. So, naturally, you’re turned off when you bite into a slice of sourdough and discover it’s gummy. But what really happened? What caused the sticky sourdough bread?

Sourdough bread may become gummy for a variety of reasons. The major issue is excessive dampness. Using an immature sourdough starter or not allowing the bread dough to prove long enough may both result in sticky sourdough loaves.

Hello! My name is Shea, and I am an ardent bread baker with over 10 years of expertise. Over my baking adventures, I’ve learned a lot about sourdough, and one thing is certain: baking sourdough may be difficult.

Don’t worry if you wind up with sticky sourdough bread; simply keep reading to find out why and how to cure it!

Why Your Sourdough Bread Turned Out Gummy (5 Five Causes)

Nobody likes sourdough bread that is gummy. Regrettably, this is a prevalent issue among sourdough makers. There are several reasons and associated remedies. First, let’s investigate why your sourdough bread became sticky in the first place.

1. Too much moisture in the dough

Dough that is too moist is never a good thing. Not only will it be difficult to knead effectively, but it will result in a thick loaf with poor taste and, of course, it may end up unappealingly sticky.

What’s the story? Too much water, on the other hand, will degrade the gluten in the dough. That will make stretching and retaining needed gases for rising more difficult. The end result? A gooey loaf that is far from delicious.

2. Unripe or immature sourdough starter

If you want to make sourdough bread, you’ll need a special ingredient called a sourdough starter. It is essentially a jar of bacteria and yeast that will be used to ferment or proof the bread, resulting in a delightful taste and exquisite texture.

To perform correctly, sourdough starts must be cared for. It must be fed every 12 hours at the absolute least. It might take up to two weeks for the starter to grow enough to accept a loaf of sourdough.

You will have troubles if you utilize an unripe or immature sourdough starter. This is due to the bread taking way too long to rise (if it rises at all). By the time it’s ready, the gluten structure will have degraded to the point where it’s gummy.

3. Dough was overproofed

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not a novice when it comes to sourdough baking. As a consequence, you are aware that proving sourdough might take up to 24 hours in the refrigerator for the best results.

Although proving sourdough for a lengthy amount of time is necessary for a picture-perfect loaf, overproofing may and can create issues. And one of those issues? Of course, there’s the gummy factor.

When your sourdough bread overproofs, it retains an excessive amount of moisture. So much so that the moisture cannot escape during the baking process. As a result, you end up with a loaf of thick, gummy sourdough bread. Yuck.

4. Wrong oven temperature

When it comes to making bread, even sourdough, using an overly chilly oven is a no-no. Although you should always follow your recipe exactly, the oven temperature for sourdough should generally be about 400F.

Anything less than that will create problems. When the oven temperature is too low, the outside bakes before the inside. The moisture from the inside cannot escape once the shell is crisp and thick, resulting in unequaled gumminess.

5. Not cooled long enough

I know you just created a loaf of homemade sourdough bread and are excited to get your hands on it. But did you know that slicing a new sourdough bread might cause gumminess?

It all comes down to the starches included inside the bread. As sourdough is cooked, the starches absorb water and expand. When it cools, the water evaporates from the starches and is absorbed by the crust. This produces the familiar and beloved hard sourdough crust.

If the process is interrupted by early cutting, the water in the starches causes them to stay gelatinized, resulting in an unpleasant sticky texture in your sourdough.

Gummy Sourdough Bread (5 Fixes)

Thus, clearly, a gummy loaf of sourdough bread may be caused by a variety of factors. The good news is that there are some excellent solutions available to prevent this issue from recurring in the future. (Don’t worry, they’re all quite straightforward fixes!)

1. Reduce the water Content

Although I usually suggest sticking to the recipe, if you find yourself with an extremely wet dough and sticky loaf, the best alternative is to reduce the water amount.

Just reduce the amount of water by one cup. You may always add it later if necessary, but starting with too little is preferable than starting with too much. There is no turning back from it!

2. Feed your sourdough starter

Is there anything wrong with your sourdough starter? Then you must perform the following:

  • Make sure your sourdough starter is fed every 12 hours. A 1:1:1 ratio is good for most sourdough starts.
  • Use the sourdough starter only after it has been fed for two weeks. Although some bakers believe it is OK to use a starting after the first week, waiting a full two weeks before usage yields the greatest results.

Additionally, make sure the sourdough starter is still alive. A fragrant, ready-to-use sourdough starter will double in size and release small bubbles, but a dead sourdough starter will be unresponsive to feedings, emanate a strange stench, and may even develop mold.

3. Proof for the right amount of time

Again, stick to your recipe! The length of time to prove your sourdough will be specified in your recipe. Nevertheless, sourdough requires at least four hours in the refrigerator, but up to 24 hours is OK.

Look for evidence that your sourdough has finished proving. It will have doubled in size, and when poked, it will not bounce back immediately, leaving a little depression. When you see these signs of doneness, your sourdough is ready to bake.

4. Use the correct oven temperature

I know I sound like a broken record here, but it is critical to follow your recipe’s oven temperature requirements. If your recipe does not specify a temperature, for whatever reason, you may safely use 400F for sourdough.

5. Let it cool

Let your sourdough (and other varieties of bread!) to cool completely before cutting into it. I understand that waiting might be tough at times, but it is critical to the success of your bread. I suggest leaving it for at least 45 minutes before cutting into it.


Gummy sourdough bread is unpleasant, but you now understand why it occurs and how to avoid it in the future. I’m sure you’ve already learned a lot, but I’ve included some intriguing, commonly asked questions to help you learn even more.

What does Overproofed sourdough look like?

Overproof sourdough like any other overproofed loaf of bread. Instead of being twice in size, as it should be, it will be more than doubled and hanging over the edges of the bowl or pan you’re using.

Is gummy bread safe to eat?

The bread may be okay to consume if it has been completely baked. Nevertheless, if the gumminess is produced by an oven that was not hot enough, resulting in the bread being baked on the outside but not the inside, it may not be safe to eat. And who wants to eat gummy bread in the first place? Begin from the beginning!

Why does my sourdough not hold its shape?

Is your sourdough too liquid to form? It’s most likely because you over- or under-kneaded the dough. There might also be a problem with way too much moisture.

Say Goodbye to Gummy Sourdough Loaves!

You may finally say goodbye to your gummy dreams now that you know why sourdough loaves come out gummy and how to remedy them. The key lesson is to avoid overwatering and to use an active and mature sourdough starter!

Have you ever tried to make gummy sourdough? What did you discover to be the issue? Please share your experiences with us!


Why does my sourdough have a gummy texture?

CAUSE – Gummy sourdough may be created by a starter that is too young, inactive, or fermenting too quickly. Gumminess is often caused by inadequate fermentation (cutting the bulk fermentation time too short).

How do you fix gummy bread?

In most cases, an undercooked loaf of bread may be salvaged by returning it to the oven for a few minutes longer. This is true for loaves when the exterior of the bread seems totally set but the center remains sticky. Return the bread to a 350° F preheated oven for 10-20 minutes.

Why is my sourdough bread dense and chewy?

Is your bread too dense? That might be cold dough. One of the most frequent errors is a dough temperature that is too low for the starter to feed on all of the flour in the dough, resulting in a thick crumb with fewer holes. Starter is happiest and most active when the temperature is approximately 75 degrees.

What does it mean when bread is gummy?

Gummy or sticky bread is often the consequence of an undone loaf of bread. Using a thermostat to monitor the interior temperature of the loaf is one approach to prevent this issue. When the bread reaches a temperature of 180 to 200°C for soft bread, it is thoroughly cooked.

How do you fix gummy sourdough?

Reduce the quantity of water in the recipe to cure sticky sourdough bread. Excess water clogs the gluten, making it difficult to stretch and hold gas. If the excess water does not evaporate while baking and cooling, a thick, sticky bread will result.

What does overproofed sourdough look like?

What to look for in a loaf that has been overproofed. An over proofed loaf will be extremely flat, with little rise or shape retention, similar to the symptoms of over proofed dough. Overproofing damages the structural integrity of the bread, therefore overproofed loaves cannot keep their form in the oven.

Why is my sourdough still doughy after baking?

The most frequent cause of doughy bread after baking is simple undercooking. This might be due to an overheated oven or not baking long enough. It might also be due to incorrect chilling or failure to follow the recipe exactly.

Why is my sourdough bread sticky after baking?

Temperature Is Too High

High temperatures might result in early over fermentation, resulting in moist, sticky sourdough. You should maintain your kitchen temperature between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius (75F-82F).

What does Overproofed dough look like?

The dough has developed, but the edge (where it touches the bowl) appears flat or sunken rather than lovely and dome-like. This indicates that your dough has over-proofed due to a lack of nourishment.

How do you make sourdough bread less chewy?

If you massage your dough with flour before baking to highlight your scored patterns, this may also dry your crust, making it harder and chewier. Try spraying with water before baking or reducing the quantity of flour on the top of your bread.

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