What Causes Sourdough Bread to Be Sour? (Plus Tips for Changing the Flavor)

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When it comes to food names, you never know what the genesis is going to be. Some meal titles are merely the components, such as fettuccine alfredo, a dish that incorporates both fettuccine noodles and alfredo sauce.

Other food titles may suggest who ate the meal, such as fisherman’s pie, which was a dish eaten by fishermen and sailors.

Throughout this, several titles just highlight the apparent characteristics of the cuisine. As an example, consider sourdough bread. Sourdough bread has a tangier, more sour flavor than most other breads, particularly when compared to normal sandwich bread.

While the history of this bread’s name is evident, it is less clear how this kind of bread came to be or what is in it that gives it its sour overtones.

The Science of Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is a little different from most other types of bread. It has a tougher crust than other types of bread and the dough has some harsh undertones that you won’t find in other types of bread.

This bread has the same elements as most other loaves of bread, including wheat, yeast, water, and salt, but what gives it such a distinct flavor?

When studying about sourdough bread and where it originates from, there are two things to consider. For starters, most individuals who bake sourdough bread use something called a sourdough starter.

This will have the majority of the ingredients for bread, but it will be tuned to a sourdough bread flavor. As a result, making sourdough bread is not exactly the same as making sandwich bread.

Furthermore, what distinguishes sourdough baking from other breads is that the dough is refrigerated. As the bread rises, the fermentation process will be altered by the cold.

When bread rises, it contains a trace of lactic acid from the fermentation process. However, the chilling procedure enables for more acetic acid to be created in sourdough bread.

Acetic acid has a significantly stronger and tangier flavor than lactic acid and is responsible for the famous moniker of sourdough bread. When making sourdough bread, it is critical not only to use the sourdough starter, which contains the ingredients required for acetic acid production during fermentation, but also to allow your sourdough bread to ferment in the fridge for the time specified.

Doing so will enable your sourdough bread to live up to its name, with a soft dough with a tangy undertone that many people will like. If you want to make your sourdough bread taste even stronger, there are certain tricks you may do.

Altering the Sourness of Your Sourdough Bread

While making sourdough bread, you may create an environment for acetic acid to grow in a few different ways. You can ensure that the sourdough starter has ideal conditions.

As acetic acid loves a dry environment, make sure there is more flour than water. When possible, utilize whole-grain flours, since the bacteria that make acetic acid prefer this kind of flour over others.

You may also ensure that the acetic acid has an ideal environment in the bread dough. Keep in mind that modifying the bread dough will need some trial and error, as any change you make to favor the creation of acetic acid will most likely have other impacts on the bread as well.

Always keep the rising and fermenting bread dough in a cool place, ideally in one of the coldest parts of your home. A chilly atmosphere slows the fermentation process, enabling more acetic acid to be created before the bread has completed fermenting.

The ultimate objective is to have a long, steady rise so that the bacteria that generate acetic acid have plenty of time to do so before you cook the dough.

You should also strive to punch down (also known as degassing) the dough at least once, ideally twice, before shaping your loaf. This will assist to increase the sour taste of your sourdough bread, although it may need some more effort.

Finally, you should experiment with the final ascent a little more. Allow at least four hours for the final rise of the bread, however overnight will provide far better results.

After that, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before placing it in the oven. This will improve not only the flavor of the bread but also its oven spring.

What About Reducing the Sour Taste?

If you want a softer flavor in your sourdough bread, you may absolutely change the bread and ingredients to achieve this.

If acetic acid is the stronger, tangier acid generated in sourdough bread, you should attempt to stimulate lactic acid production instead. This will still give the sourdough bread its distinctive flavor, but it will be milder.

In general, you should do the inverse of what you would do to have a stronger sourdough flavor. This involves boosting feedings to create a starting habitat with greater moisture.

You should also use more starter when adding it to the dough to allow for a quicker rising period and less time for the acid to be created during the fermentation process.

Finally, a tiny quantity of baking soda may be added to the mixture. Baking soda is a naturally alkaline material, which means it neutralizes and mitigates the effects of a high acidic content. Because the acid in sourdough bread is what gives it its tangy flavor, adding baking soda to the recipe will lessen it. Related to this post is 5 Fantastic Ways to Use Leftover Sourdough Bread


Why is my sourdough extra sour?

or the hooch that emerges. As a result, the taste becomes more sour. To give your beginning a more sour taste, try moving to a more sparing feeding schedule.The longer the sourdough starter stays without sustenance, the more acetic acid and lactic acid it produces.

What adds the sour flavor to sourdough breads?

A sourdough culture produces two types of acids: lactic acid and acetic acid. Acetic acid, sometimes known as vinegar, is the acid that gives sourdough its taste. Giving acetic acid-producing organisms the best circumstances for growth and reproduction will result in a more tangy end product.

How can I enhance my sourdough flavor?

If you want a stronger taste in your sourdough bread, add a little citric acid to the dough. To your sourdough, add 18 to 14 teaspoons of citric acid. If you use more than this quantity, your sourdough will become unusable.

Does sourdough discard add flavor?

Because it contains wild yeast and bacteria, much like your starter, discard is just flour and water with taste, and it can be used to create various kinds of dishes – sweet or savory – to add a sourdough flavor and enhance the texture.

What does over fermented sourdough taste like?

fermented scent. The cooked crust may have a “corn” taste (there may be a slight odor similar to popcorn).A highly sour flavor (rather than the delightfully sour tang of properly fermented sourdough) A sour

What does overproofed sourdough look like?

Overproofing occurs when the dough has rested for too long and the yeast has continued to produce carbon dioxide while the dough’s strength (gluten bonds) has started to deteriorate. The dough will seem incredibly puffy, but when touched or moved, it may deflate or droop.

How do you make sourdough bread less sour?

21 Ways to Make Sourdough Bread Taste Less Sour
Sourness is reduced by a short fermentation time.
Improve Your Sourdough.
Use Whole Grain Flour Instead.
Make use of all-purpose white flour.
Feed your starter often.
Slowly add a different kind of flour.
Don’t over-mix the Hooch (the liquid on top)… Don’t over-mix your Starter.

What happens if I use too much starter in my sourdough bread?

The less sourdough starter you use, the slower your dough will ferment, resulting in a more sour-flavored loaf. The more starter you use, the quicker the dough ferments, producing a less sour loaf.

Why does my sourdough have no flavor?

Still, there are three particular aspects that might significantly alter the taste of your bread: Your starter’s health. The amount of organic acids in the bread dough. The intricate interactions that develop over time between levain, dough, fermentation, and proving.

Does sourdough bread get more sour over time?

Lactic acid is created.The sourness should not alter after baking, at least not owing to more fermentation.

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