Manipulating Sourness

Manipulating Sourness

Submitted by AbeNW11 on July 15, 2015 – 3:42am.

MY friend has made a breakthrough with sourdough. We did a simple recipe and used that to iron out problems which were mainly due to no-ones oven is the same. So after a bit of trial and error we’re well on the way. Now we’re trying to manipulate sourness. My friend now knows that sourdough is the method and doesn’t necessarily mean the bread will be sour. So as we build on this simple recipe by trying out different techniques and ideas we’re also learning about the theory as well as the practical. What’s going on within a starter, how using different ratios will bring different results, how retarding the dough brings out flavour etc. We have tweaked the recipe to encourage a starter that is more LAB, reduced the ratio of starter and included an overnight retard. Here it is…




500g bread flour

280g water

11g salt

100g starter



For this recipe you don’t need recently fed starter. 2 – 3 days before you bake build your starter. Take 20g starter and feed it 65g water + 65g bread flour. allow it to bubble up by 2/3rds and then return it to the fridge. When it comes to the actual recipe you’ll just take off 100g and use.


Day of Recipe:

In a dough bowl add the 280g warm water.

Measure off an add 100g prepared starter.

Mix till fully dispersed.

In another bowl combine the 500g bread flour + 11g salt.

Add the flour/salt mix to the water/starter.


Knead for 5 minutes. Take a 10 minutes rest. Then knead again for 5 more minutes.

Cover and Bulk Ferment until doubled (should take 4 – 6 hours but this is a GUIDE)

Shape into Brotform and place the brotform into a plastic bag.

Leave at room temperature for 30min then refrigerate overnight.

Next morning (or whenever ready) preheat oven, baking stone and steam tray to 200-210C and place a cup of water to one side. Place the steam tray under the lower shelf, the pizza stone just above that.

When the oven has heated up take the dough from the fridge and transfer to the pizza stone


(Doughs tend to get more moist overnight in the fridge covered with plastic so flour your brotform really well and expect that the dough might not come out as easily. A Peel helps as you can turn the brotform over onto the peel and gently coax it out by tapping the underside then transferring it to the pizza stone. If you are going to try and tip it out straight onto the pizza stone then be careful not to burn yourself and don’t rest the brotform on it if it doesn’t come out so easily. Let gravity do the work but don’t shake too much).


Pour the cup of water into the steam tray, score the dough and bake till ready.


  My thoughts were to build a starter but then refrigerate and use within 3 days to encourage a more sour starter. Our last recipe was 30% starter and this time it’s 20% And we also have an overnight reatard in the fridge. Might seem overkill but the last one wasn’t really sour enough.  Any thoughts greatly appreciated.  P.s. I’ve just realised that her brotform takes a 900g – 1kg dough and this just falls short of 900g (dues to less starter) will it make a difference? Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon