Not Sour after 48 Hours

Hi All,

I've been making loaves and baguettes essentially following with a simple formula with 60% hydration using about 35% starter for a few months with reasonable results. But I've never found that the loaves are really sour at all. So I decided to mix up my dough and put it in the fridge for about 36 hours, it rose a little in the fridge. I then left it sitting in the kitchen at about 16C for another 10 hours, formed loaves gave it a final proof for a couple of hours at about 20C and baked. Loaves looked quite good, tasted a little sour but not nearly as much as I expected or would like. My starter is the Finnish starter from SDI. Can anyone suggest what I might need to do to get a more sour result?? Maybe my starter is just not right for the result I want?

John


6 comments

John,

[quote="john"]
Dom, in the link you posted you mention that you used to feed your starter by just adding another handful of flour to it (i.e. large proportion of starter to flour?), but that it ultimately became too sour. This seems to agree with the comment by northwestsourdough that feeding less, less often makes for more sour.
[/quote]

I wondered whether you would pick up on that

Wink

I think that what I experienced early on was a starter that was relatively unhealthy due to the build up of metabolic by products. By not discarding when adding fresh flour and water, the multiplication of organisms was inhibited, but there was a progressive build up of some of the acidic components, and that is what gave the first loaves that I made a very sour flavour.

I wouldn't usually aim to reproduce that effect when baking, as I don't think that the starter itself is as vigorous.

At this time of year I would usually refresh on a 24 hourly cycle. (Sydney is a little warmer, but this would probably work there too). If your starter has been in the fridge I would probably suggest two refreshes before baking. So if you need 200g of starter one way of doing this would be to take 15g of starter, and add 30g flour and 30g water. Stir and leave for 24 hours.
Then add 75g flour and 75g water, stir and leave for another 24 hours.
This will give you 225g starter - enough to use for a single loaf, with a bit left to make the next batch.

To maximise the sour flavour I would suggest a couple of other things.
1. Incorporate some rye or wholemeal into your loaf - for example 20% rye, 20% wholemeal
2. After mixing and kneading, cover the dough and put in the fridge for 24 hours. Then take it out, divide and shape it.
You could put it back in the fridge again at this stage, but I imagine that you will be desperate to bake by now, so let it rise and then bake it.

One other thought. It does seem possible that your starter isn't very sour. Bill certainly talks about the relative sourness of different starters that he has used. One option, rather than starting again completely would be to try refreshing your starter with wholemeal flour for a week, and see whether that brings out the flavour. I don't know whether it will.
Let us know how you go

cheers
Dom


Thanks to you both for your comments, when you say a tablespoon of starter is enough, how much flour and water would you add to it?? How long would it take to peak? How much before/after that would you mix your dough?

Dom, in the link you posted you mention that you used to feed your starter by just adding another handful of flour to it (i.e. large proportion of starter to flour?), but that it ultimately became too sour. This seems to agree with the comment by northwestsourdough that feeding less, less often makes for more sour.

So, I figured that using 60g mother with 100g flour and 100g water is effectively feeding less than my previous 30g, 100g, 100g. I it fed once this way and left it for 12 hours. I added another 100g flour and left it for another 12 hours. It had peaked and settled down quite a lot and smelt quite tangy - normally I would mix as soon as it peaked. I mixed, bulk fermented for about 8 hours at 21c, formed loaves and final proofed for another two before baking. The resulting baguettes were good and maybe a little more sour but really not that different. I can't help wondering whether I should try another starter that's known for getting sour and see how that goes. Although I might have another go but leave the starter for 24 hours before mixing it into a dough.


I agree with TP,

in warmer temperature you can get away with shorter refreshing times, but usually I would add 1 tablespoon (or less) or mother starter to the flour/water.
The longer that you leave it, the more sour it will become, though if you leave it too long it will lose some of its 'oomph'

cheers
Dom


With due respect, I think you're doing quite the opposite....starving the poor things instead of over-indulging them. A tablespoon of starter is quite enough, and, the longer you leave it, the more sour it becomes. Guys, correct me if I'm wrong.


Thanks Dom,

Maybe its the way I refresh my starter. I feed it a couple of times before I use it, generally using only about 30% mother for each feed. I found I needed to do this in the warmer months so that it didn't peak while I was at work or in bed. So maybe I'm overfeeding it and causing it to loose its sourness. I'll try refreshing using about 60% mother, and possibly let it go further beyond its peak before mixing.

John


John,

have a look at [url]http://www.sourdough.com.au/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=90[/url]

let us know if that doesn't help

cheers
Dom