sourdough bitter

My sourdough breads usually have come out quite nice...not that sour at all, actually.
But the last time they came out bitter tasting, not sour.

Any ideas why they would be bitter?

and any ideas why they are not really sour??

My starter seems to be working well, it rises nicely, the bread texture is quite good, but I cant figure out how to control the taste.

5 comments

I posted this but did not get any answers. Please, does anyone have any advice?

My sourdough breads usually have come out quite nice...not that sour at all, actually.
But the last time they came out bitter tasting, not sour.

Any ideas why they would be bitter?

and any ideas why they are not really sour??

My starter seems to be working well, it rises nicely, the bread texture is quite good, but I cant figure out how to control the taste.

Hello atara,

I would have to say that a bitter taste would be somewhat unusual and that could explain the slowness of response though a day is not a really long time.

Is this a one off event or has it repeated? Have you tasted your starter?  Is the same taste there or does it develop during mixing, bulk ferment or proving?  Perhaps you could taste the dough progressively to see where it turns up.  Let us know if and when you know.  Also an idea of the recipe and method that you are using could help.

Sourdough bread does not 'have' to taste sour - the sourdough actually refers to the starter itself rather than the final product.  In fact the bread can sometimes taste quite sweet when fresh even though there is no added sugars but a sour overtone will often develop as the loaf ages.  The main factors affecting the 'sourness' are likely to be the proportion of starter (sourdough) used in the recipe (and the sourness/acidity thereof) and the length of time between mixing and baking that determines the quantity and type of additional acids produced.  So perhaps you could try using more starter and/or working at a lower temperature to extend the timing of your dough preparation.  Don't be afraid to experiment.

As an aside, I find the variability in the outcomes in terms of taste and texture even from a tried and true recipe one of the appealing things about working with sourdough.

Keep on bakin'

Farinam

 

thanks for the advice. I think maybe i need to use more starter....I used about 1/4 cup of starter for 2 cups flour. Is that too little?

i also do find in the fridge overnight the dough is better tasting, not sour and not bitter.

I am not sure what went wrong...I am experimenting and I am continuing to try. I just wanted to know what could cause a bitter taste as opposed to a sour taste...

the starter smells okay. I never tasted it....

 

 

I read your post but didn't comment, because I really had no clue how to help, to be honest. I'm a relative newbie to the whole scene - I've only been baking sourdough since the start of this year. I've never experienced a bitter taste in the bread though, the longer I leave it in the fridge retarding, the more the flavour develops, but it's never bitter. So sorry, no idea there. 

The recipe I use for my usual bake is 220g starter, 230g water, 610g flour and 16g salt. This makes 2 smalllish loaves.

Keep experimenting and happy baking. :)

Hi Atara,

As Farinam explained - more details about your bread would be helpful.  What is your recipe - method?  How do you store or maintain your starter.?  Has your weather / season changed?  Some articles reference overproofing but the most likely candidate is whole wheat flour or other whole grain flour that has gone off.  Whole wheat can go rancid much faster than unbleached flour because of the oils in the bran and germ.  Whole wheat is also known to have a bitter taste sometimes.

Terri

You really are what you eat, so eat wisely...