The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How quickly does your sourdough starter rise?

Yogibaker's picture
Yogibaker

How quickly does your sourdough starter rise?

Hi

I'm trying to get my starter to produce a more sour flavour.  It's about 3 months old, and I feed it pretty much daily, with Hovis extra strong white, sometimes Allinson wholemeal, and sometimes Rye.  Sometimes a mixture of white & rye, or white and wholemeal.  So it's a hybrid, depending on what is available.  It's normally at around 100% hydration, and often a bit stiffer than that - I'm not always good at measuring, so just do it by feel/eye or just how the flour comes out the packet. I followed Dan Lepard's recipe for the starter, using yoghurt and organic raisins, rye and white flour.

Currently it peaks at around 4/5 hours.  It's kept in my kitchen which is around 20 degrees celsius, and sometimes in the fridge if I'm not baking.  I normally bake nearly every day.  Does the sour flavour depend on how long the starter takes to ferment?  Or how long you prove the bread?

When making the bread, I normally leave it to autolyse for 30 mins before adding the salt, leave for 1-2 hours before folding, then leave again, fold once more, then shape the dough and let it rest in the fridge overnight (aroudn 8 hours) before returning to room temperature and cooking in the morning.

 

Thank you for your help!

SnDBrian's picture
SnDBrian

My starter peaks at about 4-6 hours, but sometimes super sour flavor is not present in all starters. I know my starter personally will not produce really noticeable sour bread. I've tried cold fermenting, room temp, warm, it does not matter some starters just cannot produce super sour bread.

 

SndBrian

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

try this it may work for you.

Increase the starter that you use in the final dough 50% fermented flour 50% fresh you may need to adjust the amount of starter for proper hydration. Build up your starter to the amount needed let it ripen about half way then put it in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.  take it out of the fridge and give a bit to warm up and make your final dough.  As a warning this may make the dough a bit slack so you may need to use a form but you should get a more sour taste you are looking for.

Something to try anyway

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm trying to get my starter to produce a more sour flavour.

Don't work on the mother starter for sour, work on the bread dough for sour.  Keep your mother starter working and healthy.   Sour is a by-product of fermentation.  Keep your starter well fed (but not overfed) with flour and let the sour by-products show up on their own in the dough when given enough time.

Play with the refreshed starter, the one you prepare to use for dough or play with the dough fermenting method itself to get the sour you want.   Giving it a crumbled piece of sourdough bread to feed on will also up the sour and strange enough give you a longer fermenting window to work with.

I have left my just refreshed sourdough starter with this (2 day old) added bread (or altus) for 24 hours at 23°C and still had a wonderfully raised sour loaf to speak about. 

Mini

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Are we saying basically the same thing?

good point not to mess with the mother starter.  I make assumptions that people would know that.

i thought altus was  just a texture thing I did not know it was for flavor as well.  I guess the 24 hours with the altus would also give the starter more fermenting time thereby giving the bread more sour?

Thanks faith

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and not worry, it feeds the starter differently than just flour.  Yes, it might give the starter more fermenting time too.  The sd altus will also work if fermented only for 4 hours with the starter.  There will be a noticable difference, more than just the small weight gain.  And more influence than just added to the dough formula.  Maybe because it is sour without all those active enzymes to race against.

Yes, we are saying similar things.  I just wanted to be clear on keeping the mother starter fed.  SnDBrian's statement is also valid.  Some starters are just not as sour as others.  There is so much to learn about these little critters!

Mini

Yogibaker's picture
Yogibaker

Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and time.

However, I'm slightly confused ....

What is altus?

When you talk about the dough fermenting, do you mean the resting period after mixing?  Or do you create a sponge first, (with all the water and half the flour) and leave that to ferment overnight?

Currently I'm mixing all the ingredients together (except salt) and leaving to rest for half an hour before adding salt.  44% starter at 100% hydration, 66% water.

So, when do you suggest adding the crumbled old bread? 

And what do you mean by overfeeding the starter?  At the moment I'm feeding once a day, and using the discard for baking.  Trying to time it so that I feed approx 4 hours before baking, so that the starter is coming up to full height at the time of mixing the ingredients.  Is this correct?  The results are pretty good, it's just that I'd like to experiment to get a deeper sour flavour. 

 

Thank you all for your help/advice.

C

 

 

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Regarding fermentation to increase the sour flavor....

You can slow the second or final fermentation (after you shape your loaves) of your dough by decreasing the temperature and this will increase the sour flavor.  In Hamelman's book, he suggests, retarding your loaves at 50 F for 8 hours or at 42 F for up to 18 hours.

From what I read about altus, it's using left over bread (I read rye) that is ground up, moistened then the water is squeezed out and the wet crumbs are added to the dough mixture.  This adds texture and moisture to the bread.

About overfeeding the starter....here's where I'm a bit more uncertain...It would be better if someone would verify my answer though.

I think overfeeding is a product of feeding your starter before it has a chance to fully develop or mature.  I *think* this possibly dilutes the bacteria and yeasts in the starter and thus weakens it.  

I'm not sure how to answer the last part because I've never done the crumbled bread before....I'm pretty new to sourdough period.

I hope this helps.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Thank you, ooEveoo! 

I only want to add that altus or old bread also adds flavor.  It increases the sour flavors of the bread as well.  That is the main reason it is done.  Yes, mostly done with loaves containing some rye.   But Sourdough wheat bread would also work, let it ferment with the flour in the sponge.  Try it and see!

Mini

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

I'm glad this stuff is actually sinking in! This forum is a wealth of information. 

Thanks for the info on the altus. :)

scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

I had trouble getting my starter to make sour bread for a while, but now I can usually get it where I want it. For me, what made the difference was using less starter in my final dough and refreshing my starter with more flour and water.

I usually feed my starter at somewhere around a 1:2:3 ratio, and my starter takes a long time to peak, but it is able to make more sour bread. I often make a dough using only 40 grams of starter for every 375 grams of water and 500 grams of flour. Since the percentage of starter the dough is able to get very sour, but requires a long fermentation.

Refreshing your starter with a small percentage of rye willl also help with sourness. This is what worked for me.