The Fresh Loaf

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sourdough bread fermentaion temperature

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kase's picture

sourdough bread fermentaion temperature

Hi all,

I have a liquid and a stiff white leaven and a rye leaven that I made myself. I observe that my breads made with any of them improve overall taste and flavour without suffering other qualities like texture and such, when the doughs are fermented at a temperature between 25 to 30 degrees celcius. My white bread in particular is affected. Does anyone have similar experiences to this? I'm just curious, because a lot of recipes suggest room temperature. When I do that, the bread comes out sometimes tasty but sometimes bland. I get inconsistant outcomes. I also noticed that fermenting my liquid white leaven at around 20 degrees celcius somethimes smells somewhat like boiled egg. (Which happens in a dough too.) Does this affect bread quality, especially in taste?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


flournwater's picture

"I'm just curious, because a lot of recipes suggest room temperature"

I've read a number of interpretations about "room temperature" when applied to fermentation of bread making components.   With the range running from 65 - 80 degrees (approx. 19 - 27 C)  the average seems to be anywhere between 70 and 75 degrees (21 - 24 degrees C).  That's what I rely upon.

Because much of our ability to differentiate between tastes in food is associated with our olfactory senses, if you can smell it in the dough you will probably be able to taste it in the bread.  That is, unless the heat from baking the bread destroys whatever it is that's contributing to the odor you describe.

kase's picture

Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, the temperature rage you rely on is commonly used.

It just doesn’t work well in my kitchen. ( My rye breads in particular are not tasty at all when fermented at lower temperatures.) So I had to go through trial and error in sourdough baking. Yeast bread, however, works very well with a much lower temp and a long fermentation period. I mean, it is interesting to learn how things vary from kitchen to kitchen.