The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much over-sour dough to use?

  • Pin It
nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

How much over-sour dough to use?

Hi,


I'm intentionally letting acidify a rye dough for many days. The aroma gets better and better and the pH drops well beyond the survival threshold for yeasts (in fact it doesn't work anymore as a starter).


My intention is to use it as a flavor enhancer and as mould repellent in white(-ish) bread, of course after having added some fresh levain.


How much of this sour dough (the more I think of it the more I convince myself the way I'm going to use it is closer to the original than what I've been doing so far) should I use with respect to the flour of the bread? I don't want to add more than necessary because if it's too much it will probably have a negative effect both on the taste and on the structure of the bread.


 


Thanks.


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Nico, I thought you were making... how much rye are you fermenting?


...why don't you heat it up after is gets good and sour and trap the steam.  If you use an inverted funnel with a long coiled tube attached, the steam will condense and drip into a  bottle and the scintillating liguid could be used for years!  I might even swing by for a swig or two to check the quality as it ages.  If you were on Isle of Skye, I know what we would call it.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

it's maybe 800 gr or so. Mini, there's something supernatural in you!!


If I set up a lab I might as well search a new home:-) a place where I could distil ambrosia;)

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Probably no more than 5% on flour weights.  Since you want the bread to be whitish, and are justifiably concerned about the effects on the dough, that's about as far as I would care to push it.  No hard science, just skittish.


Paul

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi nico,


Sounds like an interesting project!


Thought I'd sent a message but didn't seem to get through - apologies.


As mini intimates would what you are producing would be kin to alcohol? Would it make sense then to use it like alcohol in dough?


I looked at Dan Lepard's cassis and currant loaf and cassis was 50g/500g flour or 10%. I'd agree with Paul - start small and work up. Cons of using a small amount of alcohol seem to be that little taste is left once it is burned off in baking: pros that it interferes less with gluten development and proofing. Will you add it after autolyse to give the gluten a chance?


I'm interested to know why this rather than a rye sour, which can also go a couple of days to tangy stage (as in Andrew Whitley's formulae), and still raise dough?


Best wishes, Daisy_A

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I answered previously but my post vanished....


Well, I wrote that I'm not going to make alcohol out of it:-), just use my dough as a flavor enhancer. Paul's 5% is a good starting point, to try absolutely.


Daisy, this dough is made with rye flour, not wheat. As far as I know alcohol evaporates during baking without leaving traces in the aroma. Doesn't it?

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi nico,


Thanks for the message I understand what you're saying. I know you're not making hooch or whiskey :-). I also wrote that I agreed with Paul to start low. 


I understand that your dough is made with rye flour. Just relating this to Whitley's formulae, though, as rye is so eminently fermentable, I wonder if the sourer taste that rye gains over several days is also related to the fermentation of the grain as well as its greater acidity.


I am wondering, therefore, if what causes the special aroma in the rye dough might also fall off slightly after baking so that a slightly higher proportion might be helpful? The add more because you lose some approach being parallel to that of using alcohol, which burns off as you say. 


Just trying to think through this interesting approach alongside your interventions. All the best with it!


Daisy_A

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Daisy you remind me that generally adding just a small amount of rye sour dough is sufficient to give the bread a wonderful aroma, I'd say out of proportion respect to the small amount of sour dough used.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi nico,


Well, it's certainly a very interesting area. Do let us know how it goes. Out of interest what consistency is the dough - that of a pâte fermentée or something else?


With best wishes, Daisy_A

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

of a deteriorated dough, something like a very wet dough.


Well, I can say for sure that the flavor doesn't lack at all! Sunday I prepared a bread with 20% of this dough; the rest was 40% high gluten flour and 60% AP flour. The bread came out quite dense and flat, but ... it gave me a lesson about  how bland my other white breads (rare, to say the truth: I'm all on the dark side) taste in comparison.


The old dough was not the only levain present (actually it looked like dead): there was another small amount of firm starter, but too little to yield a puffy bread.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

sooner or later the yeasts will get the message to go into survival mode and stop producing gas and go dormant.  It might add great flavor but the dough may need a boost with added yeast.  Gosh that sounds like German sourdough only with a large portion of rye! 


You're thinking about combining a very ripe starter and a just peaked starter in a dough with added flour?    Would that be interesting?  Yes!  The flavor from one, the yeast from the other, and just enough flour for the final proof.  Even the wheat dough could have been mixed (flour and water) and allowed to autolyse 8-12 hours before the great combining of three.


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Old dough for flavor and a just peaked starter for the levaining, exactly as you described. Experimentation has already begun, as I wrote in the previous post. I'm sure you can do it much better than me!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm thinking all those enzymes in the old dough and then I'm thinking how I feed my starter altus to reduce the enzymes because too many were coming from the flour.  Maybe that is why I like fermenting day old rye bread that isn't active but still contains aromas and flavor.  That extra kick of flavor without the problems.   I'm thinking I'm an enzyme scaredy-cat.


I haven't tried two differently aged starters in one dough...  not yet.  There is also a new thread on adding mash to dough, could also be along the same lines.  Around these parts there seems to be a common feeding of starters with cracked or coarse (also comes as fine meal) whole rye or roggenschrot.  I wonder if it ferments differently than rye flour.  Slower perhaps for longer ferments?


Mini (in Austria)

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

as coarse grains take ages to fully hydrate. They don't even permit the dough to raise as much as with fine rye flour alone, but over the days any trace of coarseness disappears.