Making less sour sourdough
I made my own sourdough starter a few months ago, and I've been making sourdough wholemeal bread quite successfully since, using the no-knead recipe from the Breadtopia site. It tastes fine if you like the sourness of a traditional sourdough. However, I tend to like this in moderation - and was wondering if I could use my starter to make a less sour loaf.
The no-knead recipe I use has just 1/4 cup of starter, 3 cups of wholemeal flour and about a cup of water - enough to make a sticky dough that is too sticky to knead by hand (which is why it's a no-knead recipe!). It takes about 12 hours to rise, then I carefully scoop it out, fold it, let it rise (I know I *should* do this then carefully put it in a pre-heated cast iron casserole, but I'm too much of a coward - so I let it rise in a silicone loaf tin instead) until it's above the loaf tin (about 4-5 hours) and bake. It's fine - I don't get a lot of oven spring, probably because I'm letting it rise in the tin instead of putting it a nice pre-heated casserole.
On the Breadtopia site, someone wanted even sourer bread, so they just use 1/8 of a cup of starter, let it rise for 18 hours - apparently the less starter, the harder it has to work (and of course the longer it takes), so it produces more acid.
So I thought I'd try the opposite approach to get a *less* sour loaf. I used a cup of starter, 2 cups of wholemeal flour and water, and didn't use the no-knead method - I kneaded the dough like for a normal loaf. As expected, it rose much quicker (about 5 hours instead of 12), and the second rising took about two hours. So far, so good - a quicker rise as I expected. However, the loaf tasted very unpleasant, and had a very bitter taste to it. Even the following day, it still tasted vile.
My starter is 100% hydration, is quite lively (I keep it in the fridge, but fed it the day before the bake and left it at room temperature). While the loaf was doing its first rise, I put some starter in a small cup as a test to make sure it was lively - and it was, bubbling quite nicely after a few hours. For feeding my starter, I take it out the fridge, pour all of it away except for 1 cup, then add 1 cup of flour and about 2/3 cup of water.
Am I doing anything wrong on the technique front, or is my theory of more starter = less sour bread simply wrong?
Many thanks in advance!