The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A mock sour dough loaf

HUGO's picture

A mock sour dough loaf

Has anyone tried to create a sour dough using lemon juice, various vinegars, buttermilk, or even vitamine C ?   I notice that my sourdough starter weakens the gluten and changes the texture compared to commerical yeasts. Also the crumb seems to have much smaller holes in the crumb using a sourdough starter.  ANY REPLY WOULD BE MOST WELCOME    Happy New Year to everyone.

KenK's picture

King Arthur sells instant sour dough flavoring.

They have the nutrition label posted so you can see what they put in it.

althetrainer's picture

I suppose you can create something that tastes like a sourdough but what about the texture?  I have never tried it but would like to know if it works.  Al

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A little bread flour with higher gluten levels will help your dough hold up against sourdough starters. Your Q more or less explains why bread flour is used so often with sourdough.  The longer working and rising times do tend to wear down the dough's gluten structure.

About the little crumb bubbles, give it just a little more rising time or beef up your starter well before using it ought to solve the bubble problem.  Sometimes letting the dough rise in a cooler environment (retarding) helps spread out or disperse the bubbles throughout the dough.  Sourdough does take longer to rise. 

It is sometimes helpful to think of making dough as a degenerative process.  Once water is added to flour, the flour starts to autolyse and decompose, we add ingedients, change temperatures, speed up decomposition by adding more yeast and sourdough and slow it down trying to bake the dough when the flavor is to our liking but hasn't lost all of its ability to still stretch and rise to bake into the foodstuff we call "Bread."  Flour starts out very alkaline and slides thru the pH scale until it is very acid.  The closer we get to acid end of the scale the trickier it gets to control and still manage a decent loaf before it breaks down too much.  Even then, we can use this broken down dough to further the process in another batch of dough going up and down the scale until we're satisfied enough to shape and bake it.

Type in any or all of the words: lemon juice, various vinegars, buttermilk, or even vitamine C   in the site search box and find lots of information.  (Also pickle juice, puréed sourkraut, or balsamic vinegar or even dried sourdough starter.)  They all have an acidifying effect on the dough. 


Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

A *very* small amount of citric acid (sour salt) added to the dough will give a sour taste if your starter isn't giving you quite enough pucker.  This usually amounts to less than a quarter teaspoon per double batch of dough, and it should be counted in with the regular salt. I know some may consider this cheating, but when I want a really sour taste, this works for me.