The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter smells like apples

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

Starter smells like apples

A few weeks ago, I decided to try and get my own starter going with fresh ground Montana wheat. I used a tiny bit of Bragg's Apple cider vinegar (the bottle says "with the mother") and the starter got going pretty quickly without any bad smells at all. It was bubbling up and doubling in size by day 4 then had a few slow days but never, ever had any nasty smells. It always had a very fragrant and almost flowery smell to it.

Then I got some San Francisco sourdough starter (I bought it from Breadtopia) and I got carried away with this new starter that had the exact flavor I wanted. So I put that homemade starter in the fridge and then completely forgot about it. It's been in there a couple of weeks. And I just discovered it as I was cleaning out the fridge.

It smells absolutely wonderful - it smells like a bag of apples - though it doesn't smell anything like sourdough. Doesn't seem to have suffered at all from being lost in the back of the fridge.

I'm feeding it now and waking it back up - guess I'll have to bake something with it and see what I get. I do remember that it was a very active riser before I put it in the fridge. It would double in volume in about 4 hours and want to be fed again.

Wish there were a way I could attach a smell to this post so you could take a whiff :)

Anyone else have starter that smells of apples?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

In a very young starter before it matured into a more regular tangy starter smell. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Love it when it does that.  

A good combination is with walnuts in the dough.

Warning!....Starter sniffing can be habit forming!

<smile>

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

It's been two hours since I pulled it from the fridge and fed it - it's a warm day today!  How long should I wait before I bake with it - seems like it wants to get right to work.  I'm thinking it'll be ready to go tomorrow morning - what say you?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

go for it.        1,2,3?

it's 8 am here....  time it for your schedule

Thicken it a little and leave it out overnight (or wait till peak and chill it.)

Where did you find that classic?

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

It's early evening here and this starter is just like I remember before it got lost in the fridge (doubles in 4 hours or less). So I've got some dough underway - with this fast starter it will be ready to go in the oven in four hours unless I put it in the fridge. Not sure how long to let it ferment at room temp before I retard it - or just bake it tonight?

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

It had been a warm day yesterday but got really cold in the evening and overnight (cold for here anyway - haha - like 40F outside and 45-50F in my kitchen) so I just left the formed loaf on the counter overnight (in a loaf tin with inverted loaf tin on top) it was about 14 hours from shaping the loaf to bake. Smells like a sweetened loaf as it was baking.

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

I couldn't wait any longer :)      There isn't much sour tang but it is delicious in it's own way.  Smells wonderful.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Well done!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is the aroma still there or has it gone off into oven-land dispersed in the kitchens and wandered all over the house?  

That's what I like about cooler weather....longer ferments and a warm oven and kitchen to welcome the baked bread into the world.  Worth going outside for a few minutes just to come back and saturate one's senses in the house aromas.

I got a Peter Reinhard biga waiting in a fridge around here somewhere...  gotta make me a kaiser roll dough in this 92% humidity. (supposed to get up to 31°C (88°F) this afternoon.  That makes for fast dough!  Maybe I'll mix it up now with 18°C (65°F)  outside.  Let it slow bulk for a few hours until the jungle rooster crows.  The "super moon" is still bright outside.  (5 am)   

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

The baked bread has a unique (to me) smell that I can't quite place. Not fruity - sort of a little floral scent (jasmine?) and something like buttermilk biscuits. And right out of the oven, the crust smelled like Post Grape Nuts cereal. (Not sure if that cereal is known outside of the USA) I think Grape Nuts cereal has a lot of malt --- now I did add 1/8 tsp (or less - just a tiny bit) of diastic malt to the dough. I don't think that's enough to give any malt flavor but it may explain why the aroma, while it was baking, was as though I'd added sugar - it smelled very sweet when baking.

If I toast it, then I start to detect the classic sourdough smell. It has perfect texture (perfect for me anyway - makes terrific sandwiches).