The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Questions after first attempt at Sourdough

Gumbeaux's picture

Questions after first attempt at Sourdough

First attempt at making sourdough bread. This is my first attempt at sourdough bread. I used 5 1/2 oz 100% hydration starter, 17 1/2 oz KA bread flour, 13 oz water, 1/4 oz of salt. I am really happy with the crust, would like a little more open and less chewy crumb, but this bread was severely lacking sourdough taste. Not sure if I'm feeding the starter correctly or if I'm feeding it correctly before reviving it from refrigeration in order to use it in sourdough bread. I made a 100% hydration starter using rye flour, bread flour and water. I fed it as follows every day for two weeks 6oz of starter, 12 oz of water, and 12 oz of bread flour. It smells like sourdough and bubbles well. I started to keep it in the refrigerator and fed it once a week by letting it come to room temp and fed it as noted above, waited for it to bubble and then refrigerated it again. Not sure if I'm doing anything correctly so any feedback, help, comments of criticism would be greatly appreciated.

dosco's picture

I am not expert but here are a few things I've picked up here ...


1. How old is your starter? Seems that the more mature starters tend to impart more sourness.

2. Did you have a cold fermentation? Evidently the lactic acid bacteria (the stuff that makes the sour flavor) like a nice long cold fermentation.

3. How long did your bread sit before you ate it? Seems that the bread tends to get more sour as you let it "rest" after baking (I've heard up to 2 days (!!)).

4. In my personal experience, the most sour SD resulted from a nice long autolyse ... just the flour and water, for something like 24 hours. Not sure if this is an "official" way to make the SD more sour but for me it was very noticeable.

Next time you might want to post a few more details about how you made the bread.



dabrownman's picture

a beautiful loaf of SD inside and out.  If this is your first loaf od SD then your starter is young and not up t0 making really sour bread

After your starter matures, for a sour bread, we have 100g of rye sour starter at 66% hydration that is stored in the fridge for a week before making a levain with it.  We take 15 g and do a 3 stage build.  The first feeding is 10 g each of rye and water and we let it sit for 2-3 hours.  Then we feed it 20 g each of rye and water and wait for it to double and then refrigerate that for 24 hours,  We then feed it 40 g each of rye and water and then let that rise 25% before refrigerating for 24 hours again.  Then take it out of the fridge and let it complete its last doubling.  Then it is ready for any bread and should deliver the most sour your starter has in it for any bread up to 1,50 0g. total weight.

To keep the sour going you will want to retard the dough in bulk or shaped for 12 -18 hours depending on how fast it proofs in the fridge.  You can also final proof at 90 F  to increase the sour.   This is how I get sour bread and there is no such thing as too sour around here :-)

Happy Baking.

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

Yes, nice job for your first try.

You could cut the KA Bread Flour with a percentage of All Purpose to get a little less chewy. That KA can be like chewing gum if you don't cut it. I go sometimes 50%AP. Semolina is nice too. Try A 10% semolina 90% KA or even 10%sem/60%KA/30%AP I think you'll be happy with the golden look. 

I mix about 2500-3000 grams of dough, let it spend some quality time in the 70-80 degree range then peal off 1/3 of the batch and put the rest in the fridge. I bake from it during the week as needed. The flavor of the loaves gets more ripe as time passes. Just like a jug of milk.

aptk's picture

Job well done, especially for your first time! Keep up the baking and your starter will get better and better.


Wild-Yeast's picture

The only problem you'll have is repeating the good work on a consistent basis. Great start to work from though...,


ratatouille's picture

that looks wonderful.  the longer the proof, the more sour because the more lactic acid is produced.. but be careful, the more acid that there is, the easier it cuts the gluten and will collapse your loaf...


24 hours after your bread has completely cooled, it should be perfectly sour.