The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

latest thing learned about SD flavour

noyeast's picture

latest thing learned about SD flavour

I'm fairly new and been trying SD from a bulk bucket of dough I've been keeping in the fridge the last 8 days.  Its been going great with a rich SD flavour and smell once baked.

Loaves have been taking 2 days to make once a lump comes out of the fridge, so yesterday I decided to help things along by rising in the oven instead of the countertop at what is currently quite cold conditions.

I wanted to try and bake the loaf the same day as cutting the lump from my bulk refrigerated dough and all went pretty well.  It took a couple of hours to come to room temp, then I placed it into my warmish oven at around 28 C.  

Once baked, this loaf exhibited considerably less sour flavour than those others I'd taken two days to rise and bake, and now I can see why...

                                                           ....duh..... its the time taken for fermentation that produces the sourness and not, as I had previously though, the cold retardation.  Although I think that also helps.


colinwhipple's picture

I am curious to know a little more about your process.  Did you mix the dough and put it straight into the refrigerator?  Or did you let it sit at room temperature for a while?

What kind of flour did you use?

What proportions of flour, starter, and salt?


noyeast's picture

Its a fairly wet dough for ciabatta loaves.

5 kg all purpose flour

3.3 kg water

250 g sourdough starter (doesn't matter what hydration.)

100 gms salt

mix, autolyse, then straight into fridge.   However, if you will use it all within a week, then let sit on counter to ferment some before placing into fridge.

I usually take a lump out (2 kgs) 2 days before baking, leave at room temp for a day, folding three or four times. Then rise with warmth, cut into 3 or 4 loaves and shape.

Bake on stone 250 C with steam twice in first 8 minutes, then 170 C for a further 14 minutes or until 96 C in centre of loaves.


The aroma as they come out of the oven is mouth watering.  Loaves should be minimum 2.5 times the original size of the unrisen shaped piece before baking.  Don't play with it too much on the second day so they bulk up.




DrPr's picture

I thought that the time taken for fermentation as well as the water/flour percentages are what influences the flavor. 

noyeast's picture

could be, I think many things have an influence.  However I now believe that a long fermentation and rise i.e. 2 days, has a much greater influence on SD flavour than probably anything else.  ( escape clause:  I am a newbie and stand to be corrected by those with far greater experience and I may modify my current stance with time... hehe )

My loaves using 2 teaspoons of starter with a long process, have far greater SD flavour than my loaves using a cup of starter with a relatively short process.  Sure, there's more unfermented flour in the former example for the starter to produce its flavour, but the final amount of flavour difference (at least to my pallette) is greater in the former than the ratio of flour to starter would suggest.


Crider's picture

Perhaps the cold conditions favor cold-loving bacteria and a semi-warm temperature lowered their activity too much. My own culture is such that an 8-day cold ferment destroys the gluten in my dough (i've had a gluten collapse in my pizza dough after only six days in the fridge).

I've been experimenting with your style of bulk fermentation but at room temperature. It greatly simplifies sourdough. I have been doing a 62% hydration dough using a relatively small amount of starter as you have been doing, kneading the dough up-front and then bulk fermenting undisturbed for twenty-four hours or so. Then forming loaves and baking after the proof -- also at room temperature. I'm getting super sour out of this method, but also finessing against my gluten falling apart by too long of a ferment.

noyeast's picture

I'm noticing the same thing, so will try your method of bulk fermenting first, then everything else at room temp.

I will continue to store in the fridge but only enough dough to last say a week at most.