Sourdough bread too sour! - need help
Ten days ago I began my journey in the land of sourdough.
My very first sourdough starter was made following the excellent instructions in tattooedtonka and jmonkeys epic starter catching tandem trial. Nursed with rye and weaned to bread flour on day 4, the starter looked ready to leave the nursery and go to work at the end of 8 days. Day 9 became my first ever sourdough bread baking attempt.
I used Jeffrey Hamelman's recipe for Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat which has 20% "mature" levain at 125% hydration. I scaled the final dough weight down to 36 oz (for 2 loaves) but I did the math beforehand so I'm confident I didn't introduce any changes into the ingredient proportions.
The bread looked OK when done (perhaps a little dense, but then, so am I)...
I've never eaten sourdough bread before, but this bread was far too sour for my taste.
Is bread made with wild yeast always sour? If not, I can offer only one clue to what went wrong - my times did not at all conform with Hamelman's suggested times for these steps...
- Suggested time for the levain build is 12 to 16 hours (at 70°F). Mine took 5 (at about 76°F).
- Suggested time for the bulk fermentation is 2 to 2½ hours (at 76°F). Mine took 6 (also at 76°F).
Was my starter too young when it left the nursery to take it's place in the workaday world? Did I, the doting parent, force it to become a child laborer? If yes, my only excuse is total ignorance of starter behavior during childhood and adolescence. During the levain build my starter was extremely active. It may not have been mature but, as far as I could see, it sure was acting mature.
I have the medical records from the pediatrician for this growth period. Here they are...
|Weight||Time||Feeding Amount||Observations & Comments|
|60 gm||6:30 AM||46 gm bread flour, 58 gm water||doubled in bulk in 2-1/2 hrs|
stirred down for next feeding
|164 gm||9:00 AM||47 gm bread flour, 58 gm water||tripled in bulk in 2-1/2 hrs|
|269 gm||11:30 AM||none||207 gm removed for bread|
1 hour recreation time then
stirred down and refrigerated
I know starter has both yeast and lactobacillus. Does my starter have a personality imbalance? If yes, what practical steps can I take to foster a more harmonious state?