The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ubertangy sourdough...

nowhereman's picture

Ubertangy sourdough...

Just baked a sourdough from a 4 day growth from chef, to biga, to levain, from about a 4:1 white/brown ratio at i would say 65-68% hydration. I kneeded once for about 5 mins then french folded for another 3-4 mins just to tighten the dough up a bit. then 3 repeats every hour of 3 folds, then prove for enough time for approximate doubling.

The loaf expanded a lot rather than rose, but doubled in the oven, yet was still fairly dense and really very very tangy, almost sharp to the taste. Is this a correct taste for a sourdough? I used 25 grams of salt, and about 1 tbsp olive oil in the dough.


However, that said - the bread was extremely well suited to a thinly sliced peppered ham sandwich!


Kind regards and thanks for reading



Dragonbones's picture

really very very tangy, almost sharp to the taste. Is this a correct taste for a sourdough?

I am under the impression that this is a matter of personal preference rather than 'correctness'. What I value in sourdough is the complexity of flavor it brings, not any noticeable sourness.


G-man's picture

It is largely a matter of preference for what you're making for yourself, absolutely. I like a more sour sourdough than my mother and father, who like it a bit more sour than my wife.

I guess there's some kind of system used to judge quality when pro bakers get together to decide who's the top of the heap. The higher rankings go to sourdoughs that have more lactic acid than acetic acid.

Lactic acid is a yogurt type of sour.

Acetic acid is a vinegar type of sour.

Yours sounds like it may be the latter. If you like the flavor, though, who cares if you won't win any awards?

ehanner's picture

I don't quite understand your 4 day progression of sourdough from chef to biga to levain. The tang is related to the population of biology in the starter and the amount of time left to ripen, which is controlled by the feeding schedule, temperature and ratio of flour and water and lastly the type of flour you are feeding with. If you provide some specifics on the above, we can help you get a handle on controlling sour. Most of the sourdough breads I make are mildly sour, just a hint. Most people seem to like that flavor or find it acceptable. This is easily controllable with adjustments in feeding schedule.

The normal standard in most recipes is around 2% salt as related to total flour weight. If you made a 2 Lb (908g) loaf at 65% hydration, the amount of salt needed would be 10.68 grams. You didn't say how large a batch you made so 25 grams of salt might have been appropriate but the batch would have been for a little over 5 Lbs. My calculation is pasted below. 1 Tablespoon of oil I would consider as about right for a single loaf of 1 Lb to 1.5 Lb. Hope this helps.


Type Weight Factor
Total Flour 534.12 100.00 %
Total Water 363.20 68.00 %
Total Salt 10.68 2.00 %
Dough Weight 908.00

Type Factor Weight
Starter 25.00 % 227.00

Flour % in starter (*) 23.61 % 126.11
Water % in starter (**) 80.00 % 100.89
Add'l flour needed 408.01
Add'l water needed 262.31
Salt needed 10.68
Dough weight 908.00
(*) - Flour % relative to total flour (baker's %)
(**) - Water % relative to starter flour (starter baker's %)