Hi. I need some help. The starter i have going is active and bubbly and healthy. For some reason when I mix up the dough for the no knead bread (most basic recipe) my dough sits in the bowl overnight and basically just flattens- what rise there is seems very little. Our house is not the warmest…could that be the issue. I am trying to leave it for longer and have put it into the oven now to keep it from drafts…how lonog should I let it sit before giving up?
Always hard to tell without seeing things but:
If you are using the same water for starter maintenance as you are in the recipe, I’ll assume nothing in your water is killing things off, i.e. chlorine or other chemicals in water.
So. Is the “no growth” dough bubbly and active-ish looking. You state it just flattens. Is your bowl fairly wide? A bucket or bucket shaped bowl will support a more visual rise. What I’m saying is maybe you are getting plenty of rise in the flattening that you are seeing. If your bowl is glass that you can see through, even though the dough is flat, you should see “bubbles” indicating fermentation.
As to house temperature or more accurately, temperature in the spot the dough is sitting - yes, that affects time and rate of growth. My house is 62-64F but I have a couple of warm spots. Additionally, I will sometimes put starter and/or dough in the oven with the oven light on for a bit. Be careful with this. I found that my oven with the light on gets to 88-90F so things speed up a bit too fast! But, it is useful for giving things a little boost for a short time - at least that has been my experience. I also have a desk lamp that is shaped so as to give a bit of extra oomph to a bowl of dough.
I would not give up on the dough! I have refrigerated dough for 3-5 days. If there is fermentation happening, even very slowly, there should not be a food safety issue with the no knead … no eggs, oil, etc. The bugs are good bugs. If you are comfortable handling a wet dough, just coax it into shape and try a bake at whatever point you think is good … this is so difficult to describe or I would. Worst case it is a hockey puck but you might be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks! I will keep experimenting. Our water is actual really good- we’re in the country - and I have purified water. I will give it more time and see what happens