The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Adjusting Degree of Sourness

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Ricko's picture
Ricko

Adjusting Degree of Sourness

I've read the posts on the Silesian Sourdoughs, both the light and the dark which are found in Mr. Leaders book. These are two breads next on my list to try.


The comments on the light Silesian were that it had a more mild sour taste. Since I prefer a strong sour taste,is there a way to increase the sour in the light Silesian? Can it be through retarding or using a straight rye starter rather than using the one made with white rye flour?

crunchy's picture
crunchy

Ricko, both of those breads are really good, although I prefer the dark Silesian for its stronger flavor. I usually ferment the rye starter for 12 hours or longer before using it -- it becomes quite tangy at that point and imparts that flavor to the bread. I couldn't get quite the same sourness when I used white rye, so I think trying an all rye starter may be a good idea.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Ricko,


Did you try the Silesian SD yet? Show us some pix?


I find that creating a sour taste is all about extending the fermentation time of the starter and the dough. I happen to use 2 starters for my SD bread, which gives me a lot of control over time. My experience tells me that higher hydration starter, using mostly rye flour, refreshed less frequently (once per day, for example), and retarding the dough, either in bulk or proof, for at least 12 hours, will create more bacteria and therefore more tang.


Some people find that refreshing their starter less frequently than twice a day doesn't work. Not me. I refresh my wheat starter twice in 24 hours, and my rye starter just once a day (and it is totally fine), and together they deliver substantial sour and great rise.


Soundman (David)

Ricko's picture
Ricko

Hello David,


I haven't had good results yet with the bread to where I'd want to post a picture. Posting pictures would be another challenging undertaking in itself!


Although I am using a basket for my final proof and a scale for measurements, my oven results are showing very little spring. Doing a search of this forum has lead me to believe that spring is due in a great part to steam. Perhaps I might want to add a couple more ice cubes to my skillet rather than the three I normally have been using. I can say that my results with Peter R's book and his basic sourdough bread has been successful. As for his New York Deli Rye.....that wiggles in the proofing basket like jello! It seems very wet and flows outwards instead of upwards.


So the rye has proven to be a big challenge for me, but I'm determined to master it.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Ricko,


Are you making the Light Silesian Rye? As I recall from dmsnyder's post, that has only about 20% light rye in it. On the other hand the Dark Silesian Rye has more rye flour, and I think it's whole rye as well. The Light Silesian should be able to give a good rise / oven spring because of all the wheat flour in it. In my very limited rye experience, the greater the percentage of whole rye flour to wheat flour, the less rise you can get, as the gluten in rye is considerably weaker than in wheat flour.


What I am gathering these days from comparing recipes, is that Hamelman builds the sour in some of his rye bread recipes by using a larger percentage of rye sourdough culture to total flour than in, say, his wheat flour sourdough bread. If, in that case, one let the final rye levain build for a longer time (20 hours instead of 16, for example), it will provide an even more sour flavor.


Apparently an easy way to upload photos to TFL is to first upload them to one of the photo-hosting sites, like Flickr. Just a thought.


Good luck with your rye adventures!


Soundman (David)