The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Unsour sourdough English muffins

robadar's picture

Unsour sourdough English muffins

I made English muffins follwing a recipe I found in another thread (which I can't seem to find).  The recipe called for some baking soda, which I added at the appropriate time, presumably to make the shaped muffins rise.  They rose and cooked nicely, but there was no sour taste even though my sourdough had risen all night.  I wonder if the addition of soda simply cancels out the acid in the sourdough.  If so, is there another way to get sour muffins.?I don't want to add vinegar, acetic acid, and citric acid like the commercial brands do.

dabrownman's picture

When I make these I use a rye sour starter but it is not as sour as a 3 day process SD bread.

becksbooks's picture

I had this issue when I first started making sourdough - I found several tips to make it more sour (although most of them included adding citric acid, etc.)

1) When you first create your starter, use 1/2 cup of pineapple juice (after that, you just feed with flour and water like normal) this gets some of the citric acid in from the get-go. 

2) Make your starter thicker (not sure why/how/if this really works - I have a medium-thick starter and it seems to work fine).

3)  When you feed your starter, replace 2T of your regular flour with rye flour.  This has had wonderful results for me.

Also, the longer I've kept my starter, the more pronounced the flavor has become.  I've had it for 6 months now and have used it almost every weekend, so it's gotten lots of refreshing action. 

Frazestart's picture

I think it's the baking soda. I make the sourdough crumpet recipe from the KA site, which calls for 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of starter, with my "discarded" starter and, no matter how long the starter has been sitting around in the refrigerator, they always turn out "unsour". I know it's not the starter as my other breads without bicarbonate develop a very nice tang. The crumpets are still delicious but, next time I make them, I'm thinking of replacing  the baking soda with baking powder to retain some of the sourness.

aloomis's picture

It should neutralize the acid in the starter, which would eliminate the sour taste.  

robadar's picture

The last two posts confirm my suspicion.  I used to mix vinegar and baking soda as a kid to watch the foaming; we made mini "fire extinguishers."  Obviously the acid and the salt were neutralizing each other.

Asking those of you who have made "sour" sourdough English muffins:

1.  Can I make them simply with sourdough, or should I use some yeast as per Kiing Arthur recipe?

2.  What about adding a dash of "sour salt" or citric acid as KA recommends for an extra kick?

3.  What about covering them while griddling to help them cook through?