Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sweet Sourdough: Does it exist?

Am I crazy to try and achieve sweet bread from sourdough? I mean the name itself is sour. It's like eating lemons and not expecting your jaw muscles to clench up. Ooh, my muscles just clenched thinking about lemons.

I noticed that Sonia the Nasi Lemak lover has a recipe for snow white milk buns so I decided to try it. Nothing unusual happened during the mixing period. I got the windowpane and the dough was not too sticky. Nothing I couldn't handle. After I took the buns out of the oven, I thought perhaps I had over baked because my milk buns aren't snow white but rather brown. But that's ok because we do like brown bread anyway.

The crumb was soft and fluffy. I thought I had hit the jackpot. Then I ate it. Or should I say I tried to eat it. It had a weird taste. It was so weird I couldn't bear it. When hubs reached home from work, I asked him to try it. He took one bite and said: I don't like it! Hubs eats everything so if he says he doesn't like it, it's bad. So I threw the buns away.

I didn't want to give up on my sweet sourdough dream so easily so I googled some more and I found this recipe (Hokkaido Milk Bread) which incorporated tangzhong with sourdough. I have baked with tangzhong before here but I wasn't that impressed. But tangzhong with sourdough? Maybe that was the key?

My sourdough was quite active but not like bubbling over. The proofing took forever though. Like hours and hours.

I baked the Hokkaido bread as a pullman loaf and the bake looked fine to me. The crumb was soft, nothing was underbaked. I ate one slice and although I could still taste some weird sourness, it was much better than my milk buns. The next morning, I gave 2 slices to my son for breakfast, coated with lots of Nutella. He ate a bit and said: this bread tastes weird. He asked me what I had put in the bread. Poison?

Oops. I told him he could stop eating it and later I tried it myself. Oh boy. It tasted much worse overnight. So I had to throw the bread away. Honestly, I was getting a bit tired.

I needed a success so I decided to bake this recipe again since I had been successful before (here). Previously I had proofed in the fridge overnight. This time I did a same day bake to see the difference.

Everything went well. My windowpane was the best I've ever achieved. The taste? On its own, I was able to eat it without any complaints. Unfortunately there is still some tangy taste which I've come to think is always going to be present for sourdough? We could eat it though which is the most important thing because I'm so tired to wasting food. I made toasted (to bury the tangy taste) sandwiches and we finished the whole loaf. No one complained so all's well.

Thus far, my feeding ratio for starter:flour:water is 1:1:1. I'm thinking maybe the ratio needs to be tweaked. I'm currently preparing a new starter using a new ratio. Hopefully the taste doesn't get worse.


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