The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

More sour starter, and seeding starter with commercial yeast

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Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

More sour starter, and seeding starter with commercial yeast

I know, I said commecrial yeast and sourdough in the same sentence. Don't hit me! :)

My first successful starter came from the recipes and techniques in Bread Alone. The first step involved using a pinch of IDY (less than 1/16 tsp) along with the water and stone ground rye.

I've since used a bit of this starter to seed a white flour starter. Both starters are very healthy, and produce wonderful loaves (see my recent pictures in the photos forum). I never added any commercial yeast after the pinch at the start.

My only complaint is they add almost no sour flavor to the bread. I was thinking that the strain of yeast in IDY hasn't allowed the local yeasties to take over, but the sour flavor is from the bacteria, not the yeast, right?

I'd love to hear suggestions on getting a better sour tang from my bread. I haven't been able to find many posts on the site that deal with this. I really love that tangy flavor in commercial sourdoughs.

Thanks!

-Joe

jmcbride's picture
jmcbride

I've noticed I get the best sour flavour when the dough has a cooler slower rise. My understanding is the yeast generally works much faster at warmer temperatures than the lacto-bacteria, and if you retard the dough or give it a cooler place to ferment, the yeast acts more slowly the laco- can "catch-up". That said, this is for natural yeast starters, the laco-bacterial keep the starter acidic stopping other bacteria from contaminating the starter, not sure it applies to "spiked" starters

KazaKhan's picture
KazaKhan

I've been asking a very similar question on another forum. My starter which has only ever been 1:1 flour and water is not sour and regardless of the dough fermentation time the bread I bake with this starter is also not sour. I don't actually want sour tasting bread so I'm happy with this. I was asking on the other forum for the sake of interest if my starter would become sour and it seems likely that it wont. Maybe spike your stater with a bit of yoghurt, of course I have no idea if that'd work.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Hi. My starter (no commercial yeast) is not sour if it rises quickly, but if the fermentation is retarded it increases in flavour a lot.
I find the best increase in flavour comes if it is given about a four to six hour bulk ferment, is divided and shaped and then put in the fridge for about 12 hours.
When it comes out of the fridge it should only take a couple of hours proofing before it can be baked and the tang is very much enhanced.
If I let it proof BEFORE putting in the fridge, the effect of retarding seems to be much reduced - presumably chilling before the natural yeasts get to work enable the various bacteria to do their thing more succesfully??!

Andrew

KazaKhan's picture
KazaKhan

How much did the flavour increase? A few days ago I mixed up a dough around 3pm let it ferment till about 9pm then I put it in the fridge. Took it out the next day around 1pm, into the prover around 4pm after shaping and into the oven by 5pm. I did not notice any difference in flavour from my usual 5-8 hour process. That said I've noticed a much crispier crust when retarding overnight using a commercially yeasted dough.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

The flavour really seemed to increase most when I did two things at once - one was use a lot less starter (300 grams for a 2 kilo loaf) and then refrigerating immediately after shaping and putting in the proofing baskets.
When I allowed the shaped loaves to rise and then refrigerated, there was not a marked difference in flavour (but the loaves were MUCH easier to slash and had terrific oven spring as they went straight from the cold fridge to the hot oven). But when I shaped the loaves and put them in the fridge unrisen, taking them out for a couple of hours proof the next day, the flavour was much more pronounced.
The biggest improvement, however, came when I halved the amount of starter in the dough from 300 grams for a 1 kilo loaf to 300 grams to a 2 kilo loaf - rising time was much longer, but the flavour was superb. Deeper, richer and more lemony - went down well with my guests at dinner!
Andrew