The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sour dough

Junketlady's picture

sour dough

I live in Red Bluff, CA the weather here is very dry,  I work in my niece's bakery we are trying to make extra sour,  sour dough bread.  Can't seem to get it very sour, not like over on the coast of San Francisco.  Got any suggestions for me?  Thank you and have a good day

GregS's picture

I asked a similar question a couple of weeks ago, and got a lot of useful advice. First of all, there is a heading in the forum (tab at top of page) for "Sourdough and Starters" There is a ton of helpful material there.

A short answer to your question, based on my discoveries in the forum: Given that you have a nice active starter, the sourness is more based on the rise than on the starter. Most sourdough recipies have a high percentage of hydration (water) so they produce a very soft dough that can be inflated into nice-sized bubbles by the wild yeast.

The sour taste comes from lactic acid, a byproduct from one of the good beasties in the starter. The lactic acid creation is promoted by a long, cool rise of the dough. To get a medium sour, I raise my yeast at room temperature for about four hours.

The tricky part is that if you rise too long and too warm, it can exhaust the wild yeast which produces the carbon dioxide gas that creates the nice bubbles/holes in the dough. Then your dough collapses when baked.

That's why sourdough making is as much an art as a science. Wade in to the forum postings, and you'll gain a lot of knowledge. Also, keep experimenting with the time/temperature balance.


Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

to add that's it's also hot as hell. Nothing to do with bread baking of course - just informational