The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Too Sour

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Lloyda's picture
Lloyda

Too Sour

Hi

New member here, though I have been lurking and reading for while.  About a month ago decided to have a go at sour dough, so made a start from the '101 tutorial'.  It took a bit longer than expected, but it is the winter, but now nicely rises in a few hours.

The first loaf I made took forever to rise, and in the end I ran out of time, and got the brcik I deserved. The next two have been risen better, but they taste too strongly of vinegar - you end up tasting it for the test of the day!  Now our house is quite cold at this time of year, so I have been using our warming drawer on its lowest setting to move things along a little.  Do you think this is the cause of excess vinegar?  Texture of the loaf is quite open , with a few large holes, but a bit 'rubbery'.

For the record my recipe is 100g starter, 250g flour (strong white), 300ml water, left overnight.  Next morning 300g more flour, 12g salt and .5 tbl o oil.  (My starter is quite stiff, and I keep in the frdige, feeding on Wednesday night if I start to bake on Friday night.)

Thanks

Lloyd

 

vavo's picture
vavo

Hi Lloyd,

welcome to the sourdough fun!

Without knowing a few details (like temeperatures and times) a few thing are standing out:

A lot of sour! You are using 45% of the total flour in the sour, which is a lot. I would try using more somethig around 15%. Also the amount of 100g starter is too much innoculation. So my guess is, that your over night sour is fementing too much and then it is also making up a fair bit of your final dough. Try to adjust it too 100g flour, 100g Water and 10-20g starter (have to play around with that and see what works for your temperature and time).

The overall formula seems to be only 55% hydration, which basically means a very stiff dough and i believe this contributes to the sourness you are describing. I would go with a bit more water, which would make the final formula look a bit like this:

  • your overnight sour
  • 450 g flour
  • 250 g water
  • 12g salt
  • oil if you like it.

I hope that helps!

Lloyda's picture
Lloyda

Thanks for that.  Looking back at the recipe I see it said 100ml of starter, not 100g, although that still seems a lot compared to your 20g.  I had not realised that the amount of flour in the initial sponge would have a big impact on the degree of sour.  I also did not think that my dough was that stiff, but I guess it is all relative.

How runny should a starter be?  Mine is quite thick , and seems to be getting thicker - should I just add more water next time? (I've been adding equal water and flour by weight to the same weight of starter).

Lloyd

vavo's picture
vavo

It all depends .... on way too many things...

Looking back at the recipe I see it said 100ml of starter, not 100g, although that still seems a lot compared to your 20g.

This really depends on how long the sponge (overnight sour) sits and also its  tempereature. You should use the sponge at its peak, when it is most active (or just before), a simple way to find out when that is is using a clear container for the sponge and when it is all mixed clean the inside above the sponge well. So now, when it peaks and falls afterwards you will see a "high water mark" on your container - and if you do, you know it has gone too far and is not very active anymore.

If you like the consitency of your dough, than that is the right consistency I would say!

How runny should a starter be?  Mine is quite thick , and seems to be getting thicker - should I just add more water next time? (I've been adding equal water and flour by weight to the same weight of starter).

Equal amount of water and flour sounds good, when adding the same amount of starter (i. e. 100g Water, 100g Flour, 100% mature starter) I guess it will peak very quickly, maybe after 3 hours at about room temperature. So if you want to keep it overnight or in the fridge for any longer period of time, add less starter! It is hard to give exact times, since it all depends on your starters activity, the temperature, the flour etc...