The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Appendix A: Glossary - Sourdough Flavor?

Roost 12's picture
Roost 12

Appendix A: Glossary - Sourdough Flavor?

I have been wondering about what exactly it is meant when someone talks about [sourdough bread] flavor and thought the term should also be added into the Handbook's glossary. 

So what does "flavor" mean exactly? Is it just how sour the bread is? For example, "prolonged fermentation in the fridge improves the flavor" - does that mean "it's just more sour, nothing else"? So far I have noticed only sourness but I am a newbie so my understanding is still full of holes. Like a cheese.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Cheese, wine and bread all involve fermentation. A flavorful wine, cheese or bread is not one which is simply "sweet" or "sour" but something which is a delight to one's palate, dancing along your taste buds like a harmonious interplay between taste and smell, causing you to sigh inwardly and then outwardly as you chew in a zen-like state.

Some call it a taste test -- if it tastes good, it passes the test. Once you figure out what you want your bread to taste like you will then figure out how to achieve it.  I suggest following a tried and true formula until you get bread that looks as good as the photos you see, and then if you love the flavor you can see how other people describe it.  Better yet, use the formula of a professional who tells you what the flavor profile is and then you can attribute his or her definition to your vocabulary for that well-baked bread (once you get it looking the way it is supposed to look).

Roost 12's picture
Roost 12

That makes sense, thank you.