The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough smells like alcohol

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WillH's picture
WillH

Dough smells like alcohol

Started making my dough at 3pm yesterday, thinking I would use it for my evening meal, but plans changed, so I didn't bake the dough and left it in the fridge overnight to rise slowly.

Next morning I took it out of the fridge and it was very liquidy, like a starter, and I had to incorporate lots of extra flour into it to get it to the right consistency. I then put it back in the bread maker on the dough setting to give it another knead and rise, although the texture feels gummy and dense. Once it's done I will shape it, rise again, and bake, but it smells like its started to ferment - will this ruin the loaf? What have I done wrong?

Ford's picture
Ford

Sounds as though everything is going as it should.  Yeast metabolizes carbohydrates, e. g.: starch and sugars, to produce carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.  The carbon dioxide is the gas that leavens the bread, i. e. raises it.  The ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is a byproduct that mostly evaporates during baking.  In moderation, neither of these will harm you.

Ford

jcking's picture
jcking

Quite possibly it has. If a long ferment is intended the amount of yeast is reduced. In this case, as the dough turned liquid, seems the yeast ran out of food and turned cannibalistic. Which produces an excess of, as Ford states, ethyl alcohol.

Jim

gerhard's picture
gerhard

I don't know but suspect you might end up baking a brick.

Gerhard

WillH's picture
WillH

Ha ha well not quite a brick, more of a somewhat alcoholic sponge. Thanks for the insight into what was going on chemically, very interesting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)   When you add enough flour, don't forget the salt.  

WillH's picture
WillH

I did forget it, then I remembered at the last minute and kneaded it in!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

One could just mix up a fresh recipe and leave out the starter/yeast, develop the gluten in the fresh dough, then combine the two to double the recipe.  Then shape and let the dough rise.  Bake.