Inadvertent sourdough? Whole wheat no-knead dough now very sour.


I was making dough according to the 5-minute artisan bread book with white flour and then got some wheat berries and started using that. The recipe called for making some very soupy dough wiith a little yeast, then adding more flour with proportionately less water, and in the end adding white flour, very little water, and a lot of yeast. The last part was an amendment of the original recipe due to a problem we had.

After making this up, one puts it in the fridge to cool it. The first recipe worked great :) Beautiful little buns, excellent rise. 

Since then, it's gone downhill. Little rise (altho it bubbles), and an increasingly sour taste. I kept in a bit of the old dough each time I made it because there wasn't enough to use and I thought it would develop the flavor.

It's a soft wheat (low-protein), so I've been adding 2t wheat gluten/cup flour.

I am mistified by the sour taste and low rising and would like to sort this out :) Any help would be greatly appreciated!!





114 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2014 April 7

Hello Philothea,

It is a bit unclear to me exactly what you are doing.  Are you using your reserved dough as a starter for your next batch of dough?

If so, it is possible that you have exactly that, a sourdough.  And you should be able to make fine bread from that.  One possibility is that the wild yeasts in sourdough are much slower working than commercial bakers yeasts and you need to allow a lot more time before baking.  In your first attempt, you added 'lots of yeast' and this likely contributed to your excellent rise.  Assuming that you have not added more bakers yeast then you now only have the wild yeasts from the flour that you are using hence 'sourdough' and longer time required.

Read up on using sourdough in SourDom's beginners blogs on this site and stick with it and you'll likely never use commercial yeast again.

Good luck with your projects.


Philothea 2014 April 7

Thanks so much, Farinam. I didn't reserve some dough, I just kept the leftover dough from the previous batch in the container when I made up a new batch. 

I have to say this is really ironic because I tried about three times to start a sourdough starter with kombucha just over the past couple of months but gave up because I couldn't keep ip with the 2x/day feedings. 


Thanks so much explaining where to look for more information :)

Post Reply

Already a member? Login