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Open 10th - Real Sour

so glad your baking:>

I can help on the sour thing, but you must first know this.....I also can smell the sour, but can not really taste it unless it sits in my mouth a bit. I have to have my wife taste the bread and tell me the level of sour. Seems her tongue can taste it right away, my tongue needs the bread to kinda melt into it.

but lets work on really sour bread:>....this is experiment time, sometimes it works out sometimes it doesnt...



There are two main acids produced in a sourdough culture: lactic acid and acetic acid. Acetic acid, or vinegar, is the acid that gives sourdough much of its tang.

Giving acetic acid-producing organisms optimal conditions to thrive and multiply will produce a more tangy finished product. Here are some ways to achieve this.

1. Adjust the Starter

  • Maintain your starter at a lower hydration level. This means using a higher ratio of flour to water. Acetic acid is produced more abundantly in a drier environment like this while lactic acid-producing organisms seem to thrive in a wet environment.

  • Use whole-grain flours, which the acid-producing bacteria love.

  • Keep the hooch or brown liquid layer that forms on a hungry sourdough starter instead of pouring it off. Retaining hooch can add acidity to sourdough and help it develop tang.

2. Adjust the Bread Dough

While it may take a little trial and error, attempting to achieve a longer, slower rise may also contribute to a more sour sourdough. Try creating a slower rise by doing the following.

  • Find a cooler spot for rising the dough. (Remember, warmer temperatures speed up fermentation and cooler temperatures slow down fermentation.)

  • Punch down (degassing) the dough at least once, if not twice, before the final shaping of the loaf.

  • Perform the final rise for at least four hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes before baking. Although many experts recommend that the last rise be a quick one done in a warmer environment, you will have a better “oven-spring” by putting a cooler loaf into a hot oven.


One, I build my starter bowl to about 2-3 or more cups over a weeks time, I dont throw out any starter, I just keep feeding it daily about a 1/2 cup and some water,(its all about consistency , thick pancake and then also sponge like, by the end of the week i want it really thick and growing up the bowl), do this in a bowl on the counter, not in the oven, I taste daily and the starter gets really sour (we are building the acid up). Then I take all the starter (minus maybe 1/2 cup that gets fed for the next weeks bread), to the starter I start adding flour and salt (gotta guess on the salt somewhere about 1 tsp per cup of starter, just guess), basically we are now making our bread dough out of more starter, than starter and flour...when you have your dough ball, let it rise, then knock it down and form your loaves and let them rise and then bake.

Two: on the above method, sometimes I dont get a good second rise and it makes flatter bread, but very sour. I have learned to bastardize this bread with active yeast and get a great rise , also in less time....Take one package of active yeast, or about two teaspoons, put into a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon sugar, add warm water, about 1/8 cup or so, mix and let it sit while you are getting your starter ready to mix in the flour, when the yeast is foaming lots, add it to the starter and then start adding the salt and flour to make your dough ball. Ok this is not staying true to sourdough yeast making, but you will get a different type of bread and quickly....

third: I have read adding 1/2 tsp citric acid (sour salt) to the bread making process increases the sour taste. I make my own mozzarella cheese and this is the salt we use, so I have it and am going to try this next week.....

fourth: If you read online about sourdough making, it is always the long slow processes that develop the sour taste, I have done them, and it makes me crazy taking that long to build my dough and make my bread, so I am always experimenting with quicker/bastard type recipes....

good luck to you all



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