The Fresh Loaf

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Higher feeding ratios = lower acidity, but lower innoculation = more acidity?

tttt1010's picture

Higher feeding ratios = lower acidity, but lower innoculation = more acidity?

I see these claims quite often. Feeding a starter with a higher ratio of flour and water to starter creates a less acidic starter. Also, using a lower % of starter in a dough results in a more tangy bread. Don't these claims contradict each other. Afterall, using a lower innoculation is more or less equivalent to feeding a dough wit a higher ratio of flour and water. I have never done any tests but from my experience, feeding a starter frequently is what primarily reduces its acidity. I don't recall that feeding with a higher ratio results in a noticeably less acidity starter.

Abe's picture

Are not the full picture. Whether a starter/bread turns out tangy has as much to do with other factors than simply how much they are fed. 

  • If you give your starter a small feed but use it soon after that will reduce the tang of the starter. 
  • If you put a small amount of starter in a dough but ferment for a long time you can produce a tangy bread. 

It's just as much how it used, including time and temperature, than simply ratio. When you ferment a dough for a long time other things are happening too. 

For instance if you have left your starter build with a low inoculation for too long and it's over mature then to reduce the acidity one can do a quick 1:1:1 build and use in two to three hours. 

If all there is to bread is yeast giving off carbon dioxide and it rises then why not put loads of yeast into a dough and have it baked very quickly! Reason is time = good bread. More flavour.