The Fresh Loaf

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Hello all My sourdough tastes too sour, It seems to taste a little like cheese straws the flaky pastry kind.

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andyjack's picture
andyjack

Hello all My sourdough tastes too sour, It seems to taste a little like cheese straws the flaky pastry kind.

Hello all


 


I have never tried sourdough bread before & having made this loaf twice now I am not to sure i like it it tastes a bit too strong.


It seems to taste a little like cheese straws the flaky pastry kind my wife & daughter dont like the taste would you say this is right?


 


 


My sourdough bread recipe:
2 cups sponge
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
between 2 1/2 and 3 cups flour


 


Thanks for your help


 


Andy

Yumarma's picture
Yumarma

How are you making the sponge?


And describe your starter, how you're handling it, what ratio are you keeping/feeding?


Nothing in the ingredient list indicates "too sour". Perhaps something in the process would be the issue. If you can expand on that as well...


 


Paul,
http://MellowBakers.com
A Hamelman BREAD baking group


 

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

and no water. You should find another recipe. You can do a search on this forum and "Vermont Sourdough" would be a good start. Not that this contributes to your problem, but classic sourdoughs do not contain oil or sugar


Larry

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi,


I'm with Larry,


The forum has everything you need to get going with sourdough.   The Vermont Sourdough is a tried and tested formula.


Next best advice: buy scales, ditch cups and replace with weighed ingredients.


Best wishes


Andy

andyjack's picture
andyjack

Thanks for your replys


 


The starter is being kept in the fridge & fed weekly initialy I grew the starter with wholemeal flour & water.


 


The recipe & technique I have followed was from chef johns foodwishes blog he says to take 1 cup of the starter & build up with flour & water to make 2 cups of sponge for the recipe which is to be left overnight.


 


I think you may be right & I do have scales but following this recipe seemed easy to start with.


 


I think it may be something to do with the 1st proof which i did 5 hours on the counter & overnight in the refridgerator.


 


I was a bit confused as I have never tried sourdough bread & initially thought it was the sour I was tasting but I find it really overpowering.


All the best


 


Andy

copyu's picture
copyu

I have to say you've already had some great advice, but I want to make a few observations, as well, that may be helpful.


My starter(/s) [I sometimes keep back-ups] which are fed almost exclusively on rye flour, do go a bit 'cheesy' when I abuse them for too long, but so far I've always got them back to good health.


I last baked with my main starter on Tuesday and, after a couple more feedings, it went into the fridge on Wednesday night, while still "hungry" and guzzling the food. It's Saturday here and it's now got a slight touch of that 'nail-polish-remover' (acetone) smell after being removed from the fridge. I'm going to let it warm up a little bit, tip most of it out and feed it generously straight after this post.


Once the new food enters the "ecosystem" the bad smell goes away. This also works when the starter has gone to the "cheesy smell". I've been away from home for up to two weeks and the [fairly thick] refrigerated starter always comes back to normal.


Remember there are two main "sours" in sourdough that we humans can easily smell and taste—'vinegary' sour (acetic acid) and 'yoghurty' sour (lactic acid). Do you know (or suspect) which one is the MAIN culprit of your too-sour sourdough? If so, it's easy to adjust or control with just a few degrees in temperature. (Slightly warmer temps seem to encourage the lactobacilli over the ones that make vinegar...)


 Not sure if this is useful.


Best wishes, though!


copyu


 

andyjack's picture
andyjack

Thanks so much. It definitely is too much of a yoghurty' sour taste. I now seem to have accumulated a large pool of hooch would i be best to pour that off or keep it & mix it in?


 


All the best


Andy

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

- Stir the hooch back in prior to feeding your starter


- White flours produce the least 'sour'


- When feeding, don't over-ferment.  Either use the starter when it reaches peak volume or put it back in the fridge at that time.


- When feeding, ferment at a slightly warmer temperature, but not warmer than about 85 F.  The same applies to bulk and final fermentation of your dough.  Slightly warmer ferments result in less 'sour'.


- Finally, I agree with Larry.  You'll have less sour if you use a recipe that uses a smaller percentage of starter and consequently requires additional water and flour, and a slightly longer bulk fermentation of the dough.


I find the 'Adventures in Sourdough' by Charles D. Wilford to work well for producing all-around good breads that don't make too strong of a statement in either flavor or style.  You can find this book for cheap at amazon.com or alibris.com.


There's nothing in this world that says you have to stick with one particular starter either.  Your starter may mature over the next few weeks or months and become more to your liking, or you may buy or obtain starters from several other sources as well ...Ed Woods comes to mind for example.


Enjoy!


Brian


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I'm curious about the instructions to stir hooch back into a sourdough culture, rather than dumping it.


Hootch is the waste product of the yeast and bacteria; sort of a low grade alcohol.  It's also an indication that the sourdough culture wasn't fed enough or often enough.


Since it is a waste product, why would we want to reincorporate it back into the otherwise healthy ingredients of the culture?


Does the starter actually consume its own waste?  Are there limits as to how much waste product you can keep returning to the culture and still maintain its health?


There is a lot of contrary advice on the topic and I wonder what (if any) benefit there could possibly be.

andyjack's picture
andyjack

I previously stirred the hooch back in & am wondering if I want to do that again, as it tastes & smells foul.


Maybe I will dump it & see.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

It was advice that I was given long ago.  I always figured that the 'total environment', including whatever effects the hooch has on nutrients or acidity or whatever, was what was best for the yeast and lactobacilli symbiosis and health.  I've seen the "stir it back in" advice many times over and I've been doing it for 35 years as well.  My starters have never failed so at least I think it's safe to say that it is not a damaging practice anyway.  Maybe someone who knows more about these things could explain what's what?  I'm a software guy, not a microbiologist...


Brian


 

andyjack's picture
andyjack

I have 2 days ago made a yeast ciabatta with instant yeast & it is in comparisson to the sourdough experiment a lot better.


I am abandoning the Sourdough starter I have made & am going back to perfect the much simpler yeast style bread.


learning from this sourdough expeirience though I now plan to use less yeast & longer proof times.


 I seem to have wasted a lot of flour on starting / maintaining the starter which equates to the cost of the yeast i would normally buy for my bread.


 


Thank you for all your help.


 


Andy

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I think you are jumping the gun, Andy.  I think the problem was with that wacky recipe, which didn't even include water.


There's a big taste difference between commerical and wild-yeast, the latter being so much better.


Before you dump your sourdough culture, why not given it a try with something like Susan of San Diego's simple sourdough, or anything similar.

andyjack's picture
andyjack

Yes I still have my starter & I have just checked out Susan of San Diego's recipe you recommended.


It does look like its worth 1 more go before I abandon all hope & go back to being a yeasty boy


Thanks LindyD & all the other helpfull bakers here


All the best


Andy

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

If you're getting hooch, you're starving your starter. Either feed it more, or more often. How much starter are you maintaining? You don't need more than a few ounces (some keep even less) and build what you need from that. A hoochy starter,  in my experience, will give you more sour and less rise.


You just wait. A month from now you will be wanting to know how to get more sour into your sourdough.


Just don't give up


 


Larry

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Starving?  Maybe, but that's OK if not taken too far, right?  Example) My starter can be used after one feeding (overnight on Friday), without having to build it up or feed it additional times, and it performs quite well.  It always goes 1 week in the fridge between uses ...and after a week in the fridge, it always has about 1/4" or a little more hooch on top.  Seems to be plenty healthy though.  I guess a little hooch isn't bad, no?


 


bd


 


 

JessicaT's picture
JessicaT

I read somewhere on the site many pages back that it is better to stir the hooch in because it actually affects the hydration level of the starter. I find if I'm going long periods of not baking (yay for finals! [/sarcasm], what I will do is make a stiff starter and stick it in the coldest part of the fridge. The one jar (of three) that I have turned into a stiff starter about a month ago is still a lump of dough, it has ripened a smidge, but it is not noticeable unless you make it a point to look. 


I too have wasted quite a bit of flour in experimenting with this, but hey, it's part of the learning process of baking, isn't it?