The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The trouble with sourdough

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hornedfox's picture
hornedfox

The trouble with sourdough

I guess this is more of a confession than a normal post.

I have sweated over my starter. I have grown some interesting moulds, not the right ones. I have search and learnt to use pineapple juice to get me on the right track. I have nurtured my start with love and diligence, made sure I have used the best organic flours and spring / mineral water. Controlled the temperature to the point of obsession. When I was happy with the fruits of my labour I made my first loaf. It was so sour my mouth imploded. I put this up for discussion and the recipe seemed to be at fault. I have tried again and again, friends have made encouraging remarks but still it tasted wrong.

 

I have come to the sad realisation that I don't like sourdough!

 

Ian

isand66's picture
isand66

Before you give up I suggest you go to a good bakery if one is available and buy a SD bread and see if you have the same reaction.

If you really just don't like sourdough, I suggest you create a Wild Yeast Water culture which is not sour at all but can be used in place of yeast and imparts a nice fruity flavor to the bread and also a nice open and moist crumb.

hornedfox's picture
hornedfox

Unfortunatly I have tried shop made and artisan sourdoughs and it dosent work for me. I really like the french breads with poolish or pate ferment.

 

Not sure how to make a yeast water?

 

Ian

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Nothing wrong with that, I don't think.  Tastes differ and can change over time.  Maybe in a few years you'll be back to it. For now, bake what you enjoy.

Best,

-Floyd

Ford's picture
Ford

Sourdough does not have to be strongly sour.  Perhaps you have let the dough over proof.  Perhaps not.  Try adding a little baking soda to the recipe.

Ford

PS:  I think you sre pulling our collective legs!  I just noticed your home page that you have been making quite a bit of sourdough bread.

hornedfox's picture
hornedfox

You are right I have but I give it all away. I will make it for others if they want it, but just a hint of a sour taste puts me of. 

My friends love the fact I have the baking bug as I have no end of tasters and a few who are willing to pay! The oven goes on here and everyone is round for coffee.

 

Ian

 

Ford's picture
Ford

Hmmmmmnn! 

Ian, should one trust a baker who will not eat his own product?????!!!

Ford

hornedfox's picture
hornedfox

Tough one that. I have been told what I make is miles better than store bought sourdough, but ther is no getting away from the fact that I prefer breads made with poolish like pain rustique

 

Ian

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

....I reached the same conclusion for the same reasons and turned to making only yeast doughs.  A friend asked me to try her starter which was very mild and I've been using it ever since.  I still make mostly yeast doughs for a number of reasons, but I stay active with sourdough for a number of other reasons.  By the way, my heart doctor excluded bread from my diet and suggested I get another hobby, so I give my breads away now.  Gotta keep baking.

FF

hornedfox's picture
hornedfox

As I havent used it my sourdough starter has been left at the back of the fridge for ages. After two days resucitation with Evian mineral water and organic dark rye (1:1:1)its back to the fridge for another month of neglect


Ian

Ford's picture
Ford

Evian?  Hmmmmmn?  Evian spelled backwards is naive!

Just joking, I use chlorine-free water also.  My starter is on the refrigerator shelf for about ten days in between use, but has been there for two to three weeks.  I do keep some dried flakes of starter, just in case disaster strikes.

Ford

pambakesbread's picture
pambakesbread

Don't give up!!

I know what you mean when you say you have fretted over your starter. I have tried many methods and made lots of dog breead. I have found one of the endearing features of dogs is they do not put up their noses at bread failures. I finally ( after many attempts) wrote to Oregon Tail Sourtdough for a sample of their starter. It is free but I sent them 5$ to defray their costs. They sent back a small sample of the dried starter which after giving it minimal care developed into a fine bubley starter that smelled sour but not so sour that you think it came from some unearthly  place. Actually the bread it made was very good with a nice sour tang at the end. Makes great toast too. Now it takes a long time to raise so be prepared and they send you tested recipes so you have to screw up to go wrong. My problem is that I do not get those big holes every one is showing on the site but other than that it is very passable sourdough. This isn't cheating this is a real starter that is over 100 years old--and it is free from people who are dedicated to keeping it as a heritage stareter. Try it you can't lose anything but a little time and flour---Oh use unchlorinated water and that is about it for fancy stuff. Pambakesbread

Ford's picture
Ford

"My problem is that I do not get those big holes every one is showing on the site but other than that it is very passable sourdough."

Big holes come from having a high hydration in the bread dough.  It took me a while to learn to handle the high hydration while kneading the dough and forming the loaf.  Practice -- practice-- and patience.

Ford