The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi everyone

Sharkbait34's picture

Hi everyone

Hi everyone,

I’ve just created an account although I’ve been lurking in the forum for a while. I really like the level of expertise, encouragement and support that’s apparent in the forum.

I've just re-started baking (particularly bread) during the Covid-19 lockdown, after a long (decades long) break. So lots to relearn. Am so glad that I happened upon this forum.

I started out with regular yeasted bread, but read of the benefits of sourdough and would love to try that, especially as I love flavoursome European breads (German/French - I go to Europe for work several times a year and love their breads). Made a yoghurt-based leaven starter in early August and kept feeding/refreshing and using it in the past 2 months - mostly with bread flour, sometimes a bit of whole wheat or rye.

However, I realize that I don’t like the sourness of sourdough. My colleague told me that’s because I’ve kept the starter in the fridge all this time, causing it to make more of the sour acid (sorry, I couldn’t remember whether it was acetic or lactic acid which she mentioned was the cause of the sourness). As I’m in Singapore (where the temperature ranges between 25-30 degrees Celsius or 77-86 deg Fahrenheit and humidity is in the 70-95% range), I‘m a little hesitant to just leave it out.

So my questions are:

1. Does leaving my starter in the fridge all the time cause it to turn sour? Is there anything that I can do to reduce its sourness?

2. Is it safe to leave my starter in a loosely covered glass container on the kitchen counter in Singapore’s warm and humid weather? Will it go crazy and overly active so that I have to feed it and use it daily/every couple of days? I’d love to bake more but it does take quite a lot of time and some days are just packed with conference calls. Plus I’ll be returning to the office more regularly starting tomorrow.

Thanks very much, and hope to spend a lot more time here, or in my kitchen (when I can).




phaz's picture

1  a - it can, but that's due more to improper maintenance than length of time in the cold. 

b - sour is caused by lab fermentation. Limit the lab and/or the fermentation and you limit sour.

2 - yes, to both you can and it will go like crazy at those temps, but, that shouldn't be a concern of ya go about if the right way. This is a lot easier if it's used on a kinda regular basis. If not, you'd really need the fridge for storage. 

Going about it the right way - you would start with a  small amount of starter, add enough food to make the amount of starter needed in a certain period of time. 

And I'll end with you can fit bread into any schedule, is just a matter of timing - manipulating the formula and the process to achieve the goal. Enjoy!