The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my bread tasted like finger nail polish remover

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

my bread tasted like finger nail polish remover

I was so embaressed!! I made some bread to bring to dinner at my in laws last night and it tasted horrible! I would not let anyone eat it. My husband had a small hunk and I had a bite. It had the worst taste ever. I guess maybe like an acetone taste it felt weird on my tounge. I have had this starter since August I keep him on the counter and feed him every day (normally) I missed two days he had some hooch or so I thought thats what it was. Stirred it in and discarded some and fed. He was rising and falling again as normal and I fed him a few more times before making my bread. I did a sponge this time.http://www.northwestsourdough.com/recipes/ I did let it proof to long so I had no oven spring and it looked like a frisbie. As soon as I slashed them you could see them deflating. I'm wondering if my starter is bad not because of my error's but the taste of my bread? You know the smell your starter takes on when it needs to be fed like achohol or finger nail polish remover. The bread didn't smell like that but it certainly left that taste in your mouth. What do all the experts think?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

like achohol or finger nail polish remover    ...stirred it in (hooch)

No.  That would be waiting too long.   Something else is going on.  :(   Sorry to hear you got an invasion to take care of.  

I pour off hooch if I see it (it's been years) as it is a protection layer and fighting off stuff.  I can imagine it full of dead invaders or other spores and yeast crap and don't want it in my mother starter.   

Now you got to get your starter healthy and/or start a new one at the same time. 

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

I was surprised to read that your starter is kept on the countertop, as the acetone smell usually turns up when a starter evolves into something accustomed to spending long periods of time in the cold, as when people store the starter in the fridge in between uses to reduce the frequency of necessary feedings. This has happened to my starters many times over the years when I used to use cold storage method, and when it did happen I never really was successful in getting the starter back to normal, lots of time spent back at room temperature and frequent feedings would seem to cure it, but it would always revert to acetone. I have never had the problem with starter that was always kept at room temperature though (though freezing dried flakes of starter never caused the problem either). Is it possible that your starter originally came from someone who used to store it in the fridge?

 

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Hi Hutch~

My starter was made by me using the pineapple juice method. This would be my second. Took me a few months to get one going and when I finally did I had it for about 8 months until I negelcted it for WAY to long and killed it. This one has been going since August (I think). Since my adventures in bread baking with a starter I have maintained one on the counter at room temp. My house is about 68-70 degrees this time of year. Sometimes I forget to refresh and I spend a few days doing twice a day refreshes. I feel like I am wastefull in this process. I keep about 2 cups of starter at a time ( unless it develops that smell I dump most of it) as my favorite recipe calls for 2 cups. I will be working more after the first of the year and my baking time will be less often and I fear it will get negelected again and I will kill it again.  I am a bit fearfull of putting in the fridge as I have not been following this pratice. It hasn't gone into the fridge yet!

msbreadbaker's picture
msbreadbaker

Lots of advice and suggestions regarding this problem, however, I'd like to throw something else out there, another approach. I have a wonderful, good smelling starter that I made from Peter Reinhart's recipe and directions. It is a year and a half old. I always use KA Sir Lancelot flour for refreshing. What I'd like to suggest is that maybe too much detail and time is being put into this process as to the problems of the starters. Since I only use it (I do like to bake other kinds of bread) about every two weeks, I keep it in the fridge, it always stays there, it is 100% hydration. I only refresh by the 10th day. If I am going to make sourdough bread in between, I refresh the day before the bake and bake the next day. The refreshed starter always doubles, usually triples in 4-6 hrs. That's when it goes into the fridge. The next day I let the amount to be used warm to room temperature before using. Peter R. says you can use it up to 3 days after the refresh. I have never had any bad smells or problems using his techniques, I'm sure others are just as good. I cannot imagine feeding 2,3,4,6 times in a row as some have suggested. Too much throw away for me, along with too much "scientific" detailing. Also a bit much to keep track of. In any event, this works for me and I hope you find your path. Jean P.(VA)

 

 

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

I dumped all but 20g and added 40g water and bread flour. Got a rise but it stinks. I will try again with another feeding but in the meantime I will start another one! Third times a charm right? Thanks for your comment.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think you should refresh more too.  Debra wrote on the subject.  Search: acetone debra wink    and see if that finds it.

Found it:     

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12057/sourdough-starter-impairs-gluten-development-perhaps#comment-68530

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Thanks for the link mini. I did buy some pineapple slices yesterday as I "was" going to start yet again. I did another refresh @ 5pm last night again with 20,40,40. This morning at 7 am again another refresh same amounts. It had not fallen yet and it had almost tripled. I will keep up this routine ( every 12 hrs or 2x a day refresh) for a week and try another bake this time with out a sponge. If after this I still get that taste I will start over. "Confessions of a sourdough starter abuser" made me laugh. And I agree much easier to (hopefully) fix my current starter then start another one. I have been at this now for some time and have yet to put it in the fridge. I will start this as well once I get it back to a healthy starter. Thanks again!!

Davo's picture
Davo

If you do 20,40,40 twice a day it should revie in just a few feedings - shouldn't take 7 days anyways. I had nail polish blues a couple of times and nearly threw my starter out - glad I didn't in the end as it revived fine. Although mine is more like a 80% hydration (roughly), and at stages in the reviving I think it took even less starter through to the refresh than would be the case with your (100%) 20,40,40. Basically I diluted such that I couldn't smell that smell at all, and when the bugs came back a couple of times, they came back good.

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

I have been marking my conatainer and marking the times. I am getting a double rise in 6 hrs and it seems at 12 hrs is when its peaked and starts to fall a bit from the sides of the container. I still feel like it has an odd smell but I am not giving in just yet. I'm getting a lot of bubbles and it looks good and is behaving like it should. I'll keep going for a few more days and then bake a basic white.

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Well the smell is gone! I went ahead and did a bigger feeding this morning with 40,80,80 I will do the same tonight and build again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I have gotten rid of the bad guys in there! 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Um, I don't think it is bigger as the feeding ratio is still a 1:2:2 ratio...  (1:2:2 or 2:4:4 or 20:40:40 or 40:80:80)  (s:w:f) There is just more discard.

I think a bigger feeding would change the food ratio, like to 1:3:3 (three times the starter) or  10:30:30 or 20:60:60 after all the discards are still being thrown into the compost.

Glad to hear the aromas have changed!  That is good news!  How's it doing today?

Mini

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

What I should have said was I was "building" my starter up for my recipe as I only had a 100g and needed more for my recipe that I am using. http://www.northwestsourdough.com/techniques/baking/

I just pulled my first basket out the fridge for a final proof. We shall see but so far so good. I think my starter has been saved....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ooooh  can't wait!  I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.  :)

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

I just pulled the second loaf out of the oven and both turned out beautiful. A few dark spots but over all very lovely. A bit blistrey. They are cooling now so in a bit I will see if I can take a photo or two and see if they will taste as good as they look. One of them could be my best shaped yet!  My starter will now go in the fridge. I'm not sure why it frightens me but it does. I will be working more hours after the first of the year so my baking may be less often. I know it's not needed I just want one.. a crock or something that looks nice to keep my starter stored in. I asked Santa. I will have to refresh my memory on storing starter in the fridge. I believe something like this. After a refresh let sit at room temp for an hour (?) or so. Then store in fridge and refresh 1(x) a week. Let it sit out at room temp for awhile before refreshing? Thanks for following along.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

After a refresh let sit at room temp for an hour (?) or so.

Go for half way to peaking so the yeast get a good start. 

Then store in fridge and refresh 1(x) a week.  

With two refreshments -- first one to just peaking (to increase yeasts) second one can be longer if a build for bread for flavour then remove some to refresh for the fridge starter.  

 Let it sit out at room temp for awhile before refreshing?   

 If you happened to let the starter sit out only an hour, take it out now to warm up, sit and peak before refreshing.  Putting the starter too early into the fridge after refreshing increases the bacteria count while lowering the yeast count.  The kind of situation that might bring the acetone smell back.

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

and yes saved by the bell just in time for Christmas. My starter is doing great smells great and made some great bread and rolls for Christmas dinner. My husband was in heaven last night lol left over smoked prime rib on homeade sourdough bread. Santa did bring me a nice jar so after this week in the fridge he will go. Happy New Year!

shakin_jake's picture
shakin_jake

Thought I'd mention, my original starter, the one I just threw some flour and water haplessly into a capped pint canning jar about a week or so go, finally took off!  Admittedly, I thought it was no good and was going to toss it in my garden, so I shook it up and swirled it around  as to get all of the flour off the bottom where it settled, then I removed the lid and got a heavenly scent of beer.  I quickly realized this initial home brewed starter was a success, so I spooned some flout into it (it was mostly water) and mixed, put the cap back on and sure enough, not 20 minutes later it was stoking fairly well.  I just fed it again and took a pic for posterity 

It has a slight phenolic smell so Im guessing after reading this thread and some others linked from this, that my best bet would be to feed it twice daily and not use it to start a rise in anything until I get the yeasty smell back and get rid of the phenolics.  Oh!, and thanks to the PO for posting the link to the northwest sour dough recipe...it reads and looks a treat!

 

 

Best,

 

 

Jake

Reddick Fla. 

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

My starter is doing great I did keep up for a week with 2x a day reshreshing. Worked like a charm. My favorite bread thus far has been from the NW Sourdough site. Theressa has a great blog that I also follow. This is hands down my favorite bread yet.

http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=1648

Some don't like all the blisters I happen to love them. It took some time to build the motherdough but in my opinion it is well worth it. 

 I see some nice bubbles in your starter. Have you baked anything yet?

shakin_jake's picture
shakin_jake

I baked twice today (er, yesterday, it's just after midnight here now)...I baked some french bread, two loaves, one of KAF's recipes, the one they say will mimic the bread you buy in the supermaket (the store's French bread), I've baked this one maybe half dozen times in the past, even went as far as to buy the twin loaf pan through amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Commercial-Non-Stick-Perforated/dp/B003YKGQWO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1325049060&sr=8-3  It's a fun recipe and I'm thinking about how to modify it to use sour dough starter./..okay, here it is . 

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/italian-supermarket-bread-recipe

Since I'm adding flour and water to build the yeast, adding 1/3 cup flour to 1/4 cup water, I'm thinking I could replace roughly a cup of the water and flour ingredients in the ratio of the flour and water I've added to the starter.  Just a thought, on the other hand, there are already a bazillion good sour dough recipes out there, I might as well trty some of them first, like the one you recently linked to, which I have also bookmarked thank you=:-)

I made pizza for dinner (there were four of us)...I used the pizza primer recipe on this site, since I've made this same recipe 3 X's already and find it works well, and that said, reading the comments following the recipe, I also let the dough proof in the bags in the fridge for 8 hours anyways before moving them into the freezer, so the yeast eats some of the flour for the good flavours, before freezing

Okay, you asked me about my yeast starter...I have two going.  the one in the pic above, it has too many problems to use at this point, in that it still exhibits an intense smell of phenolics even after dosing with my flour water combo twice.  I've thought about searching this site for info on 'how to wash your yeast' as maybe that will remove the overwhelming amount of undesireables that are in this starter, so luckily, I have another starter that is working well, the one I bought from Breadtopia, and used to make a loaf of their sour dough rye, which turned out nice for us.  I put a jar of that starter in fridge and I also have some ( a pint anyway )  working on the counter top, in fact, I've been wanting to try the other recipe you posted (the link to), and was going to do it this afternoon but I did the KAF recipe instead, as I was pinched for time, and Helen wanted some French bread, so I caved=:-)  I'm thinking strongly about putting something together right now, one of the two recipes you posted.  I'm hitting the sheets pretty late so it's not like I'm staying up just to make bvread, or am I?=:-)  Thanks for the links and your ideas

Best,

 

Jake

Reddick Fla.

shakin_jake's picture
shakin_jake

I baked half of the northwest sour dough basic white bread recipe (one loaf)

All I can say is "KILLER"

As you can see, I baked it in a Romertopf clay oven.  Initial impressions...could have baked longer at a higher temp.  Why?, the loaf stuck in the clay oven somewhat.  took me about 5 minutes to free it, working *carefully* with a thin bread knife.  Of course, Therresa's recipe says to bake atop an oven stone, I improvised and used the clay baking oven, and her temp is 450 @ 20 minutes (+ 10 minutes uncovered at 25 degrees lower) whereas Breadtopias temp and time for a rye dough is 475 for 30 minutes (& 10 more at 25 degrees lower uncovered), and I had no sticking whatsoever.  That said, the flavour this bread developed was incredible.  I baked it maybe 16 hours ago.  Right now, there's only a heel left=:-)  

 

I'm having fun baking sour dough bread.  I'm going to put a new loaf in the oven in 15 minutes...I mixed up another sour dough rye bread (Breadtopia's formulation)  What makes this fun is the learning process.  I've figured out my yeast (the one I've been using, Breatopia's starter) peaks in 3 hours, maybe a tad less, but  then I'm in Fla. and even on a cool day it's warmer here than in most parts of the country this time of year.  I think we hit mid sixties (fahrenheit) Thursday, today (Friday) we'll hit or supposed to, mid seventies.  House temps w/o supplemental heat has been staying in the low to mid seventies 

 

Best,

 

 

Jake

Reddick Fla.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Looking at the photo, my instinct says:  leave the cover off (too much space between loaf and lid -- maybe next time a bigger hunk of dough -- could even double the amount) and put back into the oven to finish browning, baking until it darkens a little bit more.  A browner  bottom crust  may release better.     I think your next loaf is already out of the oven! Fantastic!

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Looks great Jake! I have wanted a Romertopf clay oven. I did get my self a nice baking stone and I use a my largest stainless steel bowl to cover my loaf. I have had my best results with this method. I have tried water in the oven ice cubes ect but this is the easiest for me. I am so glad you enjoyed the flavor of Therresa's bread. Seriously if you ever get around to it try her Salt Feremented it will knock your socks off I promise! I decided to take her recipe and play with it a bit and add some ww and oat flour to it. I was reading her blog and saw she used the same basic white but with added candied walnuts. I added raisins and candied walnuts. It was dense but the flavor was good. I'm still a novice here maybe I shouldn't experiement so much but it's fun and thats how we learn. I did post a link about it "Feeling Skeptical" I uploaded a few pics. I'm in Washington State and its wet and cold here. Perfect baking weather. My starter peaks in about 6-7 hours it's about 68-70 in our house. I woud love to see your Rye Sourdough. Happy Baking~

shakin_jake's picture
shakin_jake

So sorry for not getting back to this thread earlier but I've had house company and they've kept me busy.  They're all gone now so maybe things will get back to normal at Casa Jake's=:-)

@Mini Oven-  I agree with your assessment of this loaf, how to get it browner, like leaving it in the oven longer with the top off, or maybe even doubling the recipe...there certainly is the room, and I'm sure I could improvise with a larger proofing basket.  I'll give that some thought

@ tomcatsgirl- ask and yee shall recieve...here's a pic of the sour dough rye I baked in my Romertopf...this was my first laof in this clay oven

I made it using Breadtopia's recipe.  I thought it came out well...and my house guests liked it, but then that's the least you can do is compliment your host...=:-)

I also made baked chicken in the Romertopf

here it is before it hit the oven...peeled and quartered tomatoes on the bottom (2), next went in the chicken...I used two cornish game hens (Perdue) found at the local grocer.  I quartered them, washed in water, more of a rinse and pat dry with a towel, season (I used Lawry's seasoning salt and fresh crushed black pepere, I then pressed 6 cloves of garlic in a small bowl and poured about 5 tbs of OVOO on the garlic then brushed this mixture on the chicken pieces, then I used fresh tarragon (several tbs +) and then I poured about a 1/4 litre of chardonay in the pan, nothing fancy, just boxed wine from the grocer.  the lid went on and into a cold oven, set the timer for 1 hour and set the oven at 430 degrees f (220c) this is what it looked like after baking-

Mrs. Jake made instant garlic mashed potatoes, I reserved some of the liquid and mixed in some sour cream to taste, poured it over the chicken pieces and the pottatoes on the plates.  In my estimation, the romertopf is a versatile piece of cooking gear.  It cleans up well and I've since baked bread in it again with no taste of the previous chicken dinner

for sure, I'm gonig to try Theressa's salt fermented recipe...sounds like fun and should be dee-lish!

 

totally off topic but, if you would like to try your hand at making a very good banana cake recipe, I made this one last night (finished at 4AM)

http://www.food.com/recipeprint.do?rid=67256 it's a doozy!

Best,

Jake

Reddick Fla.

  

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

Great improvement over the first loaf, the crust looks great. The chicken dish looks wonderful too. I always wondered about the multiuse of the clay baker pots as I don't use them myself, do flavors like chicken carry over to your bread?

tomcatsgirl's picture
tomcatsgirl

Looks great Jake. When I first started  getting into baking bread I was all over the place trying this and that recipe with just okay results. Someone here on TFL wisely said to me try one recipe until you get it and get good results every time. I have pretty much made the same recipe now for along time. Your beautiful sourdough rye makes me want to try some new stuff now. My starter is in the fridge and doing great. I marked my jar and still it has yet to fall below the line. I still have bubbles and the smell is very good. It almost smells better more like bread now that it has been in the fridge. I plan on taking it out tomorow and start my build for Tuesday baking.

 

Happy Baking~