Sourdough help/advise

thegrindre's picture

Hey, I'm the newbie and need to ask a few questions about sourdough.

First let me say I have successfully started a starter and it is VERY VERY active. It will almost triple in it's jar. I even made a loaf of bread with it and it came out pretty good not using any store bought yeast. It's two weeks old and it's the only successful starter I have made. All the others were flops. I used 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat flour, spring water, and raw Buckwheat honey and it was going very strong (active) on the third day. It amazed me after all my other failed attempts. I'm now feeding it with unbleached all purpose flour after that third day of activity.

My question and query is, when will it become sour??? It's very mild and smells of dough/yeast. When does the 'sour' come into effect?

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thegrindre's picture
thegrindre 2007 June 16

I see (smell) this 'thing' takes a long time. My dough is about 5 weeks old and it is just now starting to smell sour. I am so happy.

nina 2007 June 16

Congrats on your active starter and succesful sourdough loaf!

I did like Barry when I started my starter (can you say that?) and went through a lot of throwing out and feeding on a daily basis and it worked really well.
One thing, make sure you catch the starter at it's peak, or even a little bit after, to get more flavor.
Having said that, I find that the amount of starter in the dough makes a lot of difference in how "sour" your bread will be. (Even though there's some acidity I think the sourdough taste is not really all that sour, especially not in white bread, it's more complex and well... tasty )
I like to use 18-24% of the total flour of the recipe in my starter. That is 220 - 316 g of sourdough (@ 100% hydration) with 500 g flour in your dough. I guess it depends on the nature of your starter and your personal preferences though.
Good luck

Barry 2007 May 25

I'm also relatively new to Sour Dough but have successfully created a starter with the right balance of yeast and bacteria. in addition to flour,water and yeast your starter also contains bacteria. When these bacteria feed on the sugar in the flour they produce acidic byproducts giving the bread a sour taste. It takes about a week by adding flour and water daily and digarding 3/4 of the starter the yeast and bacteria will build a harmonious relationship.

star 2009 June 6

IM doing something unique for real health ,baking whole organic EINKORN stone ground flour ,spring water ,honey,fermented raw homemade grape juice to serve as the natural yeast ,which works consistently wonderfull with spelt ,.but in this case IM  having yet to come tru two problems ,

1]it takes 36 hours for the flour to rise

2]the dough become so sticky even after cooling it ,that cant work with it ,to put more flour will make it far to heavy

can any body email me if have tips

jacklang 2009 June 6

Your problem is that the einkorn has a lot of amylase, and the starch degrades easily, especially if acid. Also that yeasts that ferment grape juice are not the same as bread yeasts that feed on flour. I suspect you are basically fermenting the honey, not the flour.

You could use some ordinary bread yeast or a proper sourdough starter.

To overcome the stickiness use a preferment. Take one third of the flour and the water, the yeast or starter (or all of the grape juice if you must use it) and ferment them together for 36 hours so you have lots of yeast (and flavour), then mix in the rest of the flour and other ingredients. Because there is lots of yeast the rise will be much quicker, and the dough less time to degrade and become sticky.

I'm growing some Einkorn myself, but how do you thresh/dehull it to get the grains out of the head?

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