The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No sour starter?

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oskar270's picture
oskar270

No sour starter?

I don't like the sourdough flavour a lot but I like the idea of having my own starter.


Is there a way to make a starter that is not sour?


Thank you


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when feeding.  It's something to try with part of your starter.  Let us know how it comes out.  It may take a few weeks then you can stop feeding the starter sugar and it may continue to work for hundreds of yeast generations.    (It's still a theory.) 


The idea behind it is that sugar in the environment throws switches on the DNA/RNA when yeasts are multiplying telling the beasts that they don't need to produce so much acid to protect themselves because the sugar existing around them will do part of that work for them.  Like I said, it's a theory and not yet researched or proven, just an observation on my part.


Mini

oskar270's picture
oskar270

Why not? I will give it a try

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

As far as I'm aware, it's the bacteria in the starter (such as lactobacillus) that are primarily responsible for maintaining the acidic environment in a starter.  So unless the sugar affects them, somehow, I gotta say I'm skeptical.



Then again, who knows... it's certainly worth a try. :)


Meanwhile, a couple other tips:


1) Keep a high-hydration starter (stiff starters are more sour).


2) Make sure to do a couple feeds prior to baking.  This tends to attenuate the acidity in the starter.

oskar270's picture
oskar270

Good tips, thanks

jtowns's picture
jtowns

One recipe I have used to make sourdough in the past calls for adding a little baking soda (I think 1 tsp per two loaves of bread, but I'm not at home to verify).  In my experience this made the dough much mellower tasting-I stopped it because I wanted the sour flavor. 


I'm not sure exactly what the terms are for each step, but in the order called for you would mix your starter (the amount called for) with a good part of the total amount of flour and water and let it ferment.  After 12-18 hours or so you would add the rest of the flour (and water if you didn't add it all) as well as the 1 tsp of baking soda and salt and knead it (or stretch and fold) and from there it was to the rising and eventually shaping and proofing.  Because the baking soda was added in so early I'm pretty sure it was not adding to the rise- only mellowing the sour.


Hope this helps! 


(baking soda, not powder...I've made this mistake before)


Jacob

oskar270's picture
oskar270

Hmmmmm... sounds very interesting, one of these days I will give it a try

mountaineer cookie company's picture
mountaineer coo...

If I want my starter mild I increase it by 4, and only double it if I want to keep it sour.

mmorse757's picture
mmorse757

I find that if I don't let the starter ferment for an extended length of time, my dough will still rise - it just takes longer and the end result is a loaf of bread with almost no sour taste to it.

rockfish42's picture
rockfish42

Traditionally Panettone is made with a wild yeast starter but the bread isn't overly sour. This is accomplished by maintaining an "italian" starter here are some details
http://www.sfbi.com/tip_maintaining_italian_starter.html

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...lack of air... more CO2 in the starter...  I wonder if using bubbling mineral water in the starter would achieve the same end...  ?...?...?


Air Pressure?

rockfish42's picture
rockfish42

I'm pretty sure the tying of the starter is only to indicate when it's ready to feed or use and would also preserve moisture. The key part seems to be the temperature and feeding schedule, a high temp will favor lactic vs acetic acid as well as yeast activity.