Is there any reasonably simple way to test for level of acetic/lactic acid in dough and then in baked bread?
speaking as a chemist, not really, no.
why do you want to know?
Can't stand taste of vinegar. Sometimes the bread tastes like it's got too much acetic, but it's subjective. So I thought I'd try a test, if it doesn't involve setting up a mini-lab.
I like the way you think, but this time round, your tongue is the most sensistive instrument you have.
I take it you are making sourdough, but don't like it sour? Try feeding your starter more often, it encourages the yeast, and the acid producers don't get a look in.
Thanx jeremia :)
pH is a measure of acidity and could be used with starters and perhaps the dough if pH paper were used.
I borrowed a pocket pH meter recently to see how acidic my starter is. It read 4.5. a pH of 4 is normal for starters, I've read, but my starter is a very mild but active starter.
Using pH test strips as suggested is a very easy way to monitor acidity (or alkalinity), but I'm color-blind and can only get close (or I think I'm getting close) to the actual pH using the strips we have. There are other acids in the dough than acetic, the vinegary tasting one (lactic is another), so pH is a measure of total acidity not just the vinegar level. I think it's still worth pursuing if you're interested. Look for a lower range - say 3.0 to 5.5 for doughs and starters. Below is one place to order them: