I’ve been regularly baking “sourdough” bread and rolls since last October. Proud to say that I haven’t purchased a commercial loaf of bread since I started. I have a beautiful active starter that has a really nice sour smell but I can’t seem to achieve the taste I’m looking for. Tips, techniques?
I wrote a long post here at Breadtopia about how I do sourdough bread that kind of tangentially includes some information about getting more or less sour flavor in your bread. Since that is not the focus of the post, it’s kind of sprinkled into it in different places. Here’s the whole post:
To summarize, during the sourdough life cycle, some of the microbes that are spreading through your dough during the fermentation period are creating lactic acid as a byproduct of their metabolism. That lactic acid is the primary component of the sour in sourdough. To oversimplify a fair bit, the longer you let the dough ferment, the more lactic acid will build up and the more sour the bread will taste.
Of course there are other factors as mentioned in my post (e.g. how much whole grain vs. white flour you are using). You have to experiment and find a balance between the length of fermentation that gives you the flavor you are looking for without going too far to the point where there is not enough microbe food left in your dough when you put it in the oven to get a good rise and oven spring.
Thanks Paul! My baking is still a work in progress as am I!