The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rancid Tasting Brioche

EmelineS's picture
EmelineS

Rancid Tasting Brioche

I'm a beginner baker.  I tried making brioche for the first time and it came out super light and airy (perhaps too much so) but it tasted overly tangy almost rancid.  It smelled like a brewery.  The final proof looked okay,   What did I do wrong?  I assume it had something to do with the yeast. 

 

 

yy's picture
yy

I would also suspect your butter. Had you recently purchased it from a legitimate grocery store that doesn't leave expired items on the shelves? Also, are you sure you didn't accidentally buy cultured butter? Cultured butter has a tangy note, but I don't know if it's strong enough to be mistaken for rancid.

EmelineS's picture
EmelineS

I checked the Pulgra butter date and it says 3/22/11. 

I used Fleischman yeast but the recipe called for European yeast.  I don't know if that matters.

I mixed the yeast with bottled water, sugar, somewhat fresh eggs, fresh milk and some flour and let the starter sit for 2 hours.  Added more of the same plus butter and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight, worked it a bit and then refrigerated for another 12 hours, proofed for 90 minutes, then baked for 35 minutes. 

Was this just too much time?  Does the yeast over ferment (not sure if that's the right word)? 

I think I'll try a Brioche recipe with less wait times.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

The "use by" date on your butter is less important than the way it was stored between the time it was manufactured and the time it was used. "Use by" dates assume that the butter will be stored property between those two points in time.  Your selection of yeast brand/type was certainly not an issue.  But yeast can spoil. Spoiled yeast will have signs of mold growing in it and it would smell quite differently than fresh yeast.  You'd would certainly smell it in your fermenting dough.

I don't see anything in your description that would, IMO, generate a rancid flavor except the butter.

Syd's picture
Syd

It is highly unlikely that it is the yeast. If it rose 'super light' as you say, then there was nothing wrong with the yeast.  Were it off, it wouldn't have risen it at all or, at best, minimally.  It is more likely that you put in too much yeast or that you let it ferment at too high a temperature.  That would cause it to smell 'yeasty' or give off an alcohol smell.  Is that not, perhaps, what you are describing as rancid?  Otherwise, I would definitely suspect the butter.  Is there any of the butter left over?  Does it smell rancid?

Syd

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

European dry yeast generally refers to instant yeast, not the same as active dry, and if you use too much yeast, you will get an 'off' flavour.  I discovered that when I foolishly followed a recipe to the letter and used way too much active dry yeast to raise 6 cups of flour; the bread rose magnificently but tasted so awful, I threw it out.  If you use instant dry yeast, you can use about 1/3 or 1/4 less than called for with the active dry.

EmelineS's picture
EmelineS

I tried a new batch of brioche and this time measured the yeast precisely and, Voila! It came out tasting great! 

Thank you for your comments and advice.  I learned a lot.  This is a great forum!