The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Acetone smell of dough after bulk fermentation

inventordrew's picture
inventordrew

Acetone smell of dough after bulk fermentation

Hi,

I may have been a little too eager to try my new starter (which I have been pretty inconsistent with to be honest... And has been smelling mildly like acetone).

But I thought I'd give it a shot anyway in a loaf...

So now I have a dough that seems to be doing all the right things... But after the bulk fermentation has a strong odor of acetone.

So my question is: Is this safe to persist with? Or should I dump it and try again when the starter is healthier?

I am primarily worries that the microbial balance is off and therefor may contain something that'll make people sick if they eat the bread :S

Thank you in advance for your wisdom!

Got-to-Baguette-Up's picture
Got-to-Baguette-Up

If I'm not mistaken, the acetone smell is indicative of a starter that is too old.  A starter that is way past its prime that is starting to produce the acetone smell may leaven a bread, but it won't leaven it well.  No toxic effects, at least not any macroeffects, but the bread probably won't be great.  

Malio's picture
Malio

It could be excess of proteasis.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

An acetone smell is usually an indication of a very hungry starter - the yeast has used up all the food. There is too much of the wrong kind of acid. It won't make anyone sick (though drinking the hooch on the top of a very old starter will), but you probably won't get the kind of spring you want and the crumb may be dense, gummy and have large holes in it.

Do let us know how it turns out (we might be wrong!)

Got-to-Baguette-Up's picture
Got-to-Baguette-Up

Drinking the hooch may make your stomach sick, but no lasting effects.  

inventordrew's picture
inventordrew

Thank you for the advice. So far it's been much slower to prove than I expected... 12hours in the banneton on the bench and it's domed up a little but not a lot.

I put it in the fridge last night because I wouldn't have had time to bake this morning anyway... I'll put it in the oven tonight regardless and see how it goes...

 

inventordrew's picture
inventordrew

It is as you suspected... Barely any oven spring and a gummy crumb...

Not too appetising to be honest!

The flavour is extremely sour! In a rancid way :S

Terrible gummy loaf

 

Regarding the starter... I've been trying to revive it withore regular feeding, keeping less mother when feeding, keeping it in a cooler place to slow things down... But so far have not managed to get rid of the smell... I may need to start from scratch with this one!