The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whoohoo!! Wild Bread that ISN'T sour!

  • Pin It
ejm's picture
ejm

Whoohoo!! Wild Bread that ISN'T sour!

I did it!!! I did it!!!

wild bread

After weeks of angst with babying my jar of wild yeast, feeling I would never be able to bake a loaf of bread that WASN'T sour (not to mention the several times I was going to throw in the towel altogether), I have achieved my goal.

Not only was it not too sour; it wasn't sour at all! And it was light!! Light as a feather!!

And here's how I did it: I virtually started over with feeding. Some time in March or so, I brought the sludge out of the fridge and returning to McKenna Grant's (Piano Piano Pieno) original formula, and started a twice a day regimen:

  • 2 Tbsp wild sludge
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp water

And kept at it for days until finally finally, it began to look like a real starter again.

Now the question is whether I'll be able to repeat the success...

I like to balance cookie cutter(s) on top of the just shaped bread to etch a design in top of the loaf. For this loaf, I used 3 heart shaped cutters. Instead of removing them just before baking, I left them there for the first half of the baking and removed them when turning them around to account for uneven heat in the oven.

wild bread

The bread really was outstanding. Wonderfully crisp and chewy on the outside and light and open-holed inside.

Comments

Susan's picture
Susan

It's so wonderful when it turns out JUST like you want it! I'll bet you're glowing!

Susan from San Diego

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you Susan. You're right, I couldn't be happier! I haven't yet had a chance to try repeating the success but I do have a good feeling that it might work out.

Elizabeth

mamasita's picture
mamasita

I am trying to do the exact same thing, wild yeast bread that is not sour. I'll be trying this method. Congratulations!

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Bravo! Of course you'll be able to repeat it.

Jane 

ejm's picture
ejm

I hope you had better success than I, Mamasita.

Janedo wrote:

Of course you'll be able to repeat it.

I thought I'd be able to repeat it too, Jane. Alas, no. I made it again yesterday. And I thought everything was going along exactly as before. The starter smelled sweet. The dough smelled sweet. It rose beautifully and there were beautiful big holes in the crumb. And yet the resulting bread had a distinctly sour smell and flavour (sorry no photos, I was too dejected to get the camera).

Well, it wasn’t horribly sour but it didn't have the thrilling sweetness of the previous success.

I think it might be a temperature thing. I didn’t use warm water when mixing the dough and the kitchen was still cool enough that I had to put the dough in the oven (with only the light turned on) when it was rising.

In fact, the bread went quite well with lentil soup and various cheeses.

-Elizabeth 

 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Elizabeth,

OK, I should have shut my mouth! Sorry.

I went and read your recipe. That is really weird that it is "sour" because it doesn't look like there is any retarding in the fridge. Mine never gets sour unless I leave it in the fridge all night. I don't like that taste!  And when I make bread I always use cold water and let it rise in a normal temperature environment, never warm. I like it to rise slowly and it never gets sour.

But with sourdough, it is so subjective! It depends on the environment, the ingredients, the handling. I don't have any advice to give. Maybe you have extra sensitive taste buds!? :-)

You have to try again and again.

Jane 

ejm's picture
ejm

No need at all to apologize, Jane. I foolishly thought that it was finally warm enough in the kitchen to leave the starter on the counter. Ha. Not with this really cool spring we are experiencing.

I will try again but if the kitchen is 15C, I will put the final build of the starter in the oven overnight with only the light turned on. AND I'll make sure to use warm water when mixing the final dough. I'm pretty sure that the sourness has to do with the dough being too cold.... (I'm also going to look at the hardware store to see how much it might cost - dollars AND effort - to construct a plexiglass proofing box like the one described in The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.)

-Elizabeth

edit: In my internet search for hints on proofing box construction, I came across sourdoughbreads.com: How To Make A Proofing Box, much the same as what you described in the comments area of my real blog, Mamasita. (Thank you for dropping by there, by the way.)