The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Banana sourdough?

bowow0708's picture
bowow0708

Banana sourdough?

i have been tryin to make a new starter since my old one died on my and when my starter was still in the growing stage i added a bit of sugar to "lift" i up a bit and well now it is quite active and doubles in about 8 hours and is less than a week and a half old. i havent baked with it yet but the day after i added the sugar it started to smell like bananas! sincei have a interest in homebrew beers and i know that this is a character appropriate for the beer style hefewiezen, which has some clovy and banana notes in it. also since my starter is a whole wheat starter at 100% hydration i think maybe that the same strain of yeast the resides in the hefe jumped into my starer from the sugar and gave me some banana? has anyone encountered this before? if so how did you deal/fix it or will it be fine?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Nothing seems to rot in my house anymore. It cultures. I had a squash puree on the counter in a cup for a few days. It got forgotten in my 65F kitchen by being pushed behind something. It soured. I made a starter out of it and had great squash bread.

I do kefir,villi (Swedish yogurt), sauerkraut and am looking at cheese next so I have a lot of cultures. Sometimes my kefir tastes like villi (distinctive sour cream taste) and sometimes it tastes like kefir ( more velvety buttermilk flavor).

So make something with the starter! Just make sure you keep feeding it well so it doesn't develop an acetone smell/flavor. That can indicate a hungry culture!

Have delicious fun and see what develops!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Banana aroma is fine.

I believe the smell is related to ethanol production. Bananas produce ethanol and it's also added after picking to encourage ripening.

I make panettone and the first dough (which contains; sourdough, egg yolks, sugar and butter) once risen overnight always has banana notes to it.

For me, this smell is a good thing! Before when I was keeping it at too high a temperature it used to smell like lemon curd (acidified egg).

So to summarise adding sugar has probably lead to it smelling like banana. There is nothing to fix. Don't worry to much about contamination. The way you keep your starter (food, hydration and feeding schedule) is what determines its characteristics over time.

As long as it's rising well then you needn't worry.

bowow0708's picture
bowow0708

maybe. . . but i did not use a banana as a base for my yeast, and banana's dont produse ethanol yeast does. but i guess i will just try it by making a loaf tomorrow.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I didn't use banana either. I think you mis-read what I said. Re-read please. The notes about ethanol (explaining why bananas smell the way they do) are a side to my point; which is that my sourdough risen dough which contains added sugar gives off a banana aroma.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

smells and aromas of starters and I remember banana being mentioned.  Mine often has a pear/apple nut aroma.  I would much prefer banana to sweaty sport sock aroma.  That can be a perfectly good starter too!