The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough ... intensity of sourness

snapper4you's picture

Sourdough ... intensity of sourness

I have just cooked my second sourdough loaf. The first was only minimally sour and also heavy. This second loaf did all of the right things.The culture doubled in size before using. The resultant dough also doubled in size and it held its shape when I transferred it to the oven.It bloomed well in the oven and was picture perfect when cooked. However, it was so sour as to be inedible. Help!


chris319's picture

Send me some of that sour!

If you ever figure it out, I'd like to know your trick for more sour.

snapper4you's picture

Chris, I too would like to figure it out so that I could cut back.

I had some of my first loaf starter refrigerated. I took it out and refreshed it. It bubbled but did not increase. I then poured half into another jar and decided to keep them both going. Repeated the stirring, feeding and discarding for six days. On the sixth day I was ready to chuck the lot out but I gave it one more feed and voila, one of the mixtures went wild (pun unintentional) and more than doubled in size over a period of about four hours. I immediately began the bread prep. My recipe called for one cup of starter but remembering that my first loaf didn't rise well I decided to use one and a half cups. As I said in original post, everything successful except for the sour. Like sucking a lemon.

My thoughts ... Six days developing?

                       Extra amount of starter?    I don't Know. Maybe others might have some ideas.



Maureen Farndell's picture
Maureen Farndell

Hi snapper. Same thing happened to me when I started. Loved the bread but not the sour.......... Here are some suggestions you could try.

Decide if you want a "purist" version or are happy with a yeast booster. It will all depend on your time schedule! I have tailored mine to fit my life - not the other way around!

OK.  For the purist. Less retarded proofing time.......... less sour! I let my dough proof in an ambient room temperature of +- 24 C, for 4 - 6 hours then bake. It will easily double in size and be ready for baking. If not quite ready, then add a little more starter to the mix......... or......... make a compromise! I now add instant yeast (not too much) and stretch and fold 3 times to shape it and then proof for 2 hours or till double and then bake....... I have reduced the whole process to 5 minutes for the starter dough on day 1 and maybe a total (from beginning to end) of 3 hours on day 2! 

I just don't have more time in the days and I bake at least 2X weekly. This leaves me lots of time to experiment as often as I like and still provide the family with lots of yummy (not too sour!) bread!

Hope that helps. Just keep trying different things till you find just what you like!