The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bitter?

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Bin's picture
Bin

Bitter?

I'm having issues with my bread.  Using a basic recipe (yeast, water, flour, a little bit of sugar) the dough seems to develop an off smell and tastes bitter which persists through baking.  This has happened more than once.  I notice this change in smell as early as 30 min. into an initial rising.  I've been looking around about bread developing funny tastes or smells and I can say that the smell and taste isn't sour nor are my ingredients rancid.  I'm at a loss as to why this happens, because my sourdoughs and brioche come out just fine.


Anyone have some tips, answers, ideas?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or something in it...  run the flour thru a sieve to eliminate any added protein.  Make just a pancake from the flour & water and taste, then add one ingredient at a time to the batter to see when the changes occur.  could be the salt... or the sugar... or the bowl you're mixing in.  Or the time of day the water is poured. Bread board?  use the same equipment you use for the bread.  Bread pan surface or old oil on the surface?  Play detective, write everything down.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but then it would affect the brioche as well.  I suspect more the bowl or flour scoop  ..got more than one cook in the kitchen?  Do you use the same bowl for mixing bread as salads and spicy foods?  Maybe the bowl needs a good scrubbing.  I throw scoops in every canister so they each have their own.  Thoroughly sniff and taste your flour scoop and wash it in hot sudsy water.  


My son did a number on a loaf once without ever realizing it.  I figured out he had chopped chillies and made his famous hot sauce using my most commonly used baking equipment.  He thought he got everything washed and put away.  Ha!  He underestimated chili oil.  I had to track down and thoroughly clean every piece of equipment including my spice grinder, kitchen machine, mixer, various plastic bowls (he now uses glass) scrapers, wooden spoons, etc.  He must have had a blast in the kitchen!  :)  I bring it up because the first sign was an "off smell" of the dough.  


Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or does the bread also have a funny taste?


How much yeast are you using in the recipe compared to flour?

Bin's picture
Bin

The bread still tates bitter even after the cooking. 


I'm really the only one that uses the equipment, I wash it all pretty well, and don't usually use it for much else.  I get this problem anytime I attempt to make any basic bread. No matter what time of day or season of the year.  It's a problem I've had for a while.  I've never been able to make a basic loaf of white bread, or dinner rolls, ect.


I'm thinking that maybe in things like the brioche all the extra ingredients just mask that flavor, but I'm not really sure on that part. 


I've develped this problem for any ratio of about lets say around 1 packet of yeast to 3-6 cups of flour.


I messed around with a recent batch and I think it smells like I'm making alcohol.


 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

1 pkg yeast (7.1g) to 3 cups flour (avg. 375g) = 1.89% yeast


1 pkg yeast (7.1g) to 6 cups flour (avg. 750g) = 0.95% yeast


the alcohol smell means your dough is overfermented. 


For a lean dough (no added fat or protein), the former ratio is pretty high, and you will get extremely rapid fermentation, which is not good for developing your flavor. In rich or sugary doughs (like brioche, etc), it's good; you need extra yeast to promote fermentation. 


The latter ratio for lean doughs is good. It means that you'll typically get a bulk rise of about 1 hour til double at room temperature, which is decent for flavor. 


I'd try using even less yeast (0.75% yeast) in your lean doughs, and letting them ferment for longer. 


If you share a sample recipe with us, we might be able to help diagnose your issues with more accuracy. 


 

jcking's picture
jcking

If none of the great suggestions above fail to solve the problem, which I doubt. I would use bleach on all the utencils. Also is there anything metalic that is used only for the bread? Such as a spoon or bowl.


Jim

Bin's picture
Bin

Thanks so much


I'll try out all the recommendations and post my results!

jcking's picture
jcking

From "Cookwise" Shirley Corriher says, "However, terrible tasting short-chained acids are produced if the dough is hot for a long peroid."


Jim