The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough smells like alcohol

WillH's picture
WillH

Dough smells like alcohol

Started making my dough at 3pm yesterday, thinking I would use it for my evening meal, but plans changed, so I didn't bake the dough and left it in the fridge overnight to rise slowly.

Next morning I took it out of the fridge and it was very liquidy, like a starter, and I had to incorporate lots of extra flour into it to get it to the right consistency. I then put it back in the bread maker on the dough setting to give it another knead and rise, although the texture feels gummy and dense. Once it's done I will shape it, rise again, and bake, but it smells like its started to ferment - will this ruin the loaf? What have I done wrong?

Ford's picture
Ford

Sounds as though everything is going as it should.  Yeast metabolizes carbohydrates, e. g.: starch and sugars, to produce carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.  The carbon dioxide is the gas that leavens the bread, i. e. raises it.  The ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is a byproduct that mostly evaporates during baking.  In moderation, neither of these will harm you.

Ford

jcking's picture
jcking

Quite possibly it has. If a long ferment is intended the amount of yeast is reduced. In this case, as the dough turned liquid, seems the yeast ran out of food and turned cannibalistic. Which produces an excess of, as Ford states, ethyl alcohol.

Jim

gerhard's picture
gerhard

I don't know but suspect you might end up baking a brick.

Gerhard

WillH's picture
WillH

Ha ha well not quite a brick, more of a somewhat alcoholic sponge. Thanks for the insight into what was going on chemically, very interesting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)   When you add enough flour, don't forget the salt.  

WillH's picture
WillH

I did forget it, then I remembered at the last minute and kneaded it in!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

One could just mix up a fresh recipe and leave out the starter/yeast, develop the gluten in the fresh dough, then combine the two to double the recipe.  Then shape and let the dough rise.  Bake.    

bww649's picture
bww649

Hi :

 i make my bread , using a bread machine with  the dough cycle - then i take it out , let it rise  for about 45 - 60 min , then bake it for 22 mins. it's a great bread - even when it starts to dry out a bit after a few days, i toast it and it is fine .

But if i don't eat it all within 5 days , it begins to smell strongly of alcohol, The smell is not there for the 1st few days . 

Is it ok to eat ? Should i do something different ?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

That is a mantra I live by. It has worked for 48 years.

bww649's picture
bww649

Ha   :)   !!   i don't - works for me too , at 67. i was just curious as to what causes it , if i need to change how i bake bread.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

over ripe melons?   Are there any wet sticky spots forming?

Shmendrick's picture
Shmendrick

I was making a bread recipe with bread flour and no salt and no oil. By accident I mis-read the directions and instead of 2 teaspoons of active yeast I put in two tablespoons. Since the yeast was already in the flour I decided to experiment and added 2 tablespoons of sugar. Then I let it rise for a long time around 18 hours. When I baked it it looked normal but when I sliced it it had a strong odor of vodka like alcohol. This did not deter me and I toasted a couple of slices, put some nice low sodium smart balance on them and wow. Tasted great! Tried sprinkling them with garlic powder and a few drops of tabasco and double wow it was a great garlic bread toast. My partner and I both ended up devouring the whole loaf as great garlic bread. But then when I've tried to duplicate it I haven't been able to recreate that strong alcohol odor and taste. If it did actually have any alcohol in the bread it wasn't noticeable, just a great taste and no salt or fat to boot. Now I want it back. Please tell me how to do this. Thanks.