Sourdough flavor complexity without acidity?

I have never been especially fond of commercial sourdough. Now after nursing a stater and making several different loaves (mostly overnight no knead), I find I am not especially fond of homemade sourdough bread. Before I trash my starter, how do I get a complexity of flavor without the marked acidity of sourdough?

David - Dallas

Its all about how you handle your starter and levain. At different stages of the the ferment it’ll go from sweet to tangy. A young starter/levain will lean towards a mild taste and the more ripe it becomes the more acids are created. That’s the simple explanation. Temperature also comes into play, his much starter etc… Also you might wish to try different flours for your starter and bread. Wholegrain tends to be more tangy and bread flour less so. If you’re feeding your starter wholegrain then switch to bread flour. Feed your starter more often but if you don’t wish to be slave to your starter then just give it a few healthy feeds before baking. I can tell you now that durum flour is very mild and has a sweet flavour. A 100% durum flour bread will never be sour and even adding some percentage to your normal breads will balance the tang. And finally try the " double fed sweet levain" recipe by Ken Forkish. That’ll be a good method to follow. Don’t give up.

P.s. Ken Forkish has some great recipes however he has an eccentric way of building his starter and levain. He always builds in excess which leads to waste. So keeping the same percentages build up to how much you need for the recipe.

P.P.s. If you wish to go down the wild yeast route but don’t like the taste of tangy bread have you considered Yeast Water?

Thanks so much for your reply. I will try a Double fed Forkish recipe if I can find the time this weekend and then try the durum wheat when I can find a local source. The Forkish recipes call for an active starter. Will an overnight feed of a refrigerated starter usually be required or can I start straight out of the fridge since two feedings are included already?
Thanks again, David

My pleasure David. I think it would be better to feed your starter and use however much you need when active and bubbly. The two feeds are quite short and are in “relatively” quick succession. This is to take off the tang from the starter however you want your starter to be strong and firing on all cylinders so that the levain builds can be used when young and not too acidic.

I agree. A young and vigorous leaven is less acid; and, as a result, the gluten is stronger and rises better. I have found that I get a more complex flavor when I let make the leaven and proof the loaf in a room with a temperature in the low seventies or even high sixties.