The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello all!

chief13365's picture

Hello all!

Hello all, I am not new to baking in general, but new to sourdough bread baking.  I got my present starter from Ed Wood at Sourdough International.

I have about eight loaves under my belt with mixed results.  The last three have been consistent in looks and taste, but I have not yet had a sour loaf.  My starter is their "Yukon" which is supposed to be a sour type.  The starter does not even smell sour to me.

Anyway, I am happy to find this site where I can learn from many experienced bakers! 

idaveindy's picture

Here are some  links that have helped me understand sour from a viewpoint of lactic acid, acetic acid, total acid, and how the temperature and time length of ferment come into play.  Both temp and time for the starter,  and the temp and time of the fermenting/proofing dough.

Very technical stuff here, by Debra Wink:

Bottom line: time and temp procedures, including feeding and timing the starter, play as much, or more, of a role in the sourness/tang than the actual strains (types) of bacteria in the original culture.

What these _procedures_ do is influence the relative growth rates between acetic-producing bacteria, lactic-producing bacteria, and yeast.

I *think* I can discern the difference between the taste of lactic acid and acetic acid.  But, the game of getting a nice "tang" in the bread is still a matter of "total acid."    And the experts seem to say that the lactic acid will always be more than the acetic acid in starter and in bread, eventhough you can make conditions that promote acetic.

BTW, if you do Kindle ebooks, this book, Sourdough School, by Vanessa Kimbell, is currently on sale for only 99 cents:

It's normally $8 to $13 for the ebook.  She goes over the science of sourdough, how to treat/feed the sourdough, timing when to use it, as well as the baking.  For 99 cents, can't go wrong.



Alan.H's picture

Thank you for the link to the Sourdough School ebook. Have just found it on at 99 pence. As you say "can't go wrong"

chief13365's picture

Thank you for the links!  I see what might be my problem.  I have been doing all my proof's at room temp, will try some of the other methods mentioned.