The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Acidity disappearing one day after baking???

nicodvb's picture

Acidity disappearing one day after baking???


many of my friends told me several times that when baking breads with various types of sourdough (rye, durum wheat, AP white flour, all maintained at 100% hydratation) they sense acidity (acetic) the day of the baking, but the next day all acidity is gone.

They usually prepare white bread (uhmmmm...) generally doing a  poolish with 1/5 of the total flour, same weight of water and 1/10 of starter (wrt the flour in the starter, e.g. 1:10:10). They wait that the poolish has at least doubled in volume (overnight), then proceed as usual.

What can be the reason of that ghost acidity? I'm really curious.


LindyD's picture

They usually prepare white bread (uhmmmm...)

Your notation of "uhmmm" means what?

ananda's picture


Many bread fiends champion the joys and seduction of ever-so fresh bread, and, lets be honest such pleasures are pretty obvious!

However, there are other joys from eating bread which maybe need more emphasis as a means of accepting true wonders and not insisting only on the instant gratuities of gorging on "freshness".

I would say that the flavours of really great bread actually improve over time.   Isn't that why Lionel Poilane recommended eating his bread on the 3rd day?   There is a melding of all those lovely complex flavours, and, if anything, my tasting experience suggests an increase in acidity, in contrast to the experiences of your friends.

I've never been convinced we have any right to expect to eat bread fresh from the oven all the time.   If we do, then there are a lot of trade-offs, such as many of the con-tricks our beloved food manufacturers get up to in order to hoodwink the buying public.

Anyway, far too much from me; you tell us about your friends!   What about you?

Best wishes


DonD's picture

It is a commonly accepted fact that with sourdough breads the acidity increases with time so I am surprised that your friends find that '... the next day, all acidity is gone'.

The important thing is do you agree with your friends?


nicodvb's picture

because I always prepare rye bread that would taste horrific the same day. What I can tell for sure is that its taste improves without exposing more acidity over time (but it's a known fact that rye bread behaves like this), thus I'm not in the same conditions as they are.


I remember that when I used to make white bread with a solid starter (in a past life) I experienced the exact opposite of what my friends reported: sourness increased, just like the color (it became more and more like nuts over the days, amylase still working after cooking?). So yes, Andy: my experience contrasts with my friends', yet I don't have any reason to believe they are lying. I'm also trying to educate them to wait at least 1 day before slicing their products, in their sake... but as you can guess they cut their stuff as soon as it's just warm.


LindyD: that "uhmmm" was there to express my total lack of love for white bread.

dmsnyder's picture

I wonder if your friends are experiencing the emergence of more complex flavors rather than a decrease in acidity. I do find with some breads that the acidity is more prominent when the bread is tasted just cooled. This flavor note is relatively subdued by other flavors the next day.


nicodvb's picture

Hi David,

they report the presence of the taste of vinegar; one of them even says that her throat pricks. Now, how the taste of vinegar could vanish after one day is beyond my understanding. Maybe, as you say, the emergence of the other flavors hides it somewhat.

LindyD's picture

I have to agree with Don that the disappearance of all tang is odd.  That's the contrary with my loaves, be they rye or made with AP or bread flours.  The flavor doesn't fully develop until at least 24 hours.  Perhaps changing the hydration of the sourdough culture would have a different effect?

Thanks for the explanation of your "uhmmm."  I wasn't sure whether you were being critical of everyone who chose to bake with all purpose and/or bread flour or if it meant something else.

Too bad you have such an aversion to AP flour as you're missing such gems as the Bouabsa baguettes (posted by David), Don's ancienne baguettes with just a kiss of rye, and the many other wonderful recipes here.

On the other hand, I understand as I'm not at all fond of 100% wholewheat bread, although I do like a small percentage of WW mixed with other flour.

nicodvb's picture

that is, the flavor gets sourer with days, but they prefer to use a liquid starter and preferment a part of the flour with a poolish, because the bread keeps much softer for much longer (an feature  that fits with my experience).

LindyD, just to elaborate I have to say that another aspect of white bread that I really detest is the extreme openness of the crumb: those large holes are something that I can't stand.

The crumb I like is made of tiny and very regular holes that give the crumb a slightly spongy consistence, something like this:

EvaB's picture

to the acidity question, just a comment about the crumb in your bread you prefer, I have never seen white bread with crumb like that, not even old fashioned plain ordinary white bread that my mother baked, her crumb never ever got to have such nice large open holes as your bread shows. So don't understand your aversion.

Quite frankly your bread looks lovely, and if I could get my white loaves to get anywhere near that nice crumb I'd be so happy as to be over the moon, while my whole wheat with rye and buckwheat extras is nice tasting the crumb is dense.

And it does improve with age, but the crumb unfortunately doesn't!

nicodvb's picture

Hi EvaB, i wouldn't say my crumb holes are large and open, but rather tiny and regular. That bread (that resembles much more a brioche than a classical white bread) wasn't made with white flour, but with durum/semolina flour (I redid it today and I'm going to post the recipe and the pictures tomorrow).

Yet, even with white flour you can get something with that crumb: in order to do it I use whole milk instead of water and add some butter (I use 10% with respect to the flour, but even 5% is fine) and some sugar, because I want to keep the crumb soft as long as possibile (I'm the only one to eat my bread, so it must last a lot). Hydratation should be as high as flour can drink (in my case it was 80%, but keep in mind that semolina drinks much more than bread flour) and the levitation should be interrupted in half to rework the bread and put it in the form. That's it.