First I have to say what a great site – really good resource – I’ve had a look through quite a lot of posts and picked up some good tips – especially on under and over proving.
I have been baking my sourdoughs for around 3 months now and really enjoy the process. It all started off very well. I created a simple white starter – mixing 100g of four with 100g of water at 12 hour intervals (discarding half before feeding) and after about 1 week it was roughly doubling in size. All had been going very well for my fist few attempts- I was getting lovely crispy tasty bread. Then I had to go on holiday and so gave my culture a feed and put it in the fridge. I revived it about 2 days before I wanted to bake with it (so that 4 feedings) – same activity level – doubling every 12 hrs. I carried out my normal recipe and well – it looked the same – had the same texture but …. just didn’t have any taste?? I have now carried out the same recipe several times and still not much taist???? – activity levels are normal so I am a bit confused as to what has happened (have the bacterial – which I believe is responsible for the taste – died off?). The only difference I can think of is that the ambient temperature in my kitchen has increased by about 3 degrees Centigrade. When I started making sourdough my kitchen was around 11-12C it’s now around 15C (I live in a draughty Glasgow tenement flat and its winter)
The recipe I use is as follows:
- Tip out half my culture into a bowl (around 200g) – add to this 100g of oats, 150g of strong white bread flour and 300g of water – give it a good stir and leave over night – around 10hrs
- Next morning mix in another 100g of oats, 200g of strong white bread flour and 10g of salt (reduced sodium). Put in dough mixer on setting 2 until dough is ready – usually about 10 minutes.
- Put dough in lightly oiled bowl and then I go to work and cover top with cling-film. It is left for around 10hr for its first prove – this is at ambient room temperature (15C).
- When I come back from work I tip out onto lightly floured surface and knock back.
- I then place in proving basket and leave for 3hr for second prove.
- The oven is preheated along with my pizza stone to gas mark 9 and I place a tray of water in the bottom just before placing the dough in. Once the oven is at temperature I turn the dough out into the pizza stone and score (which I have never been able to do properly – even with a scalpel – the dough just gets stuck and I end up tearing it badly) – I don’t know if I have left it to over prove because the dough appears a little wobbly just before I tip it out.
- I put it back in the oven and leave on gas mark 9 for about 1hr and 30 mins – I have to leave it this long and at this temperature because by oven is from the 1970 and does not get very hot – if I turn it down or take it out early the crust does not go the right colour
Any advice on why my bread is now tasteless would be greatly appreciated