Why Does My Bread Dough Smell Sour?
To put it simply, bread dough tends to smell sour mostly because it has excessive yeast in it. When making your bread, if you add in too much yeast or switch it up with creamed fresh or stale yeast, then your bread dough will end up having a sour smell.
The souring flavor in bread dough is mostly due to two things: Over-fermentation, and too much yeast added to the dough. If you are experiencing strange flavors or hard textures in bread dough, this may be due to using too much yeast.
|Thumping||After you are done with the baking of your bread, move it upside down and thump its bottom. It will sound hollow|
|Temperature||The internal temperature of the bread must be something close to 210 degrees|
If your bread is going to go rancid very quickly and is falling apart, then it is possible you used too much yeast, your flour might not have the right amount of protein, or you left your dough too long or too short of a proofing period. Or, if you added too much water or yeast, your dough might not rise evenly. Try making your dough with colder water, or cut your yeast back to around 10%.
A smaller amount will ferment in the refrigerator and create more natural yeast. If you still have active yeast from the old dough, you can use that too to help with rising of your new dough. This additional yeast will help your bread to rise quicker, and it will reduce the amount of time it takes for the bread to ferment and rise, which results in bread that has less of that harsh flavor.
You can avoid the sour flavor by changing which yeast type you use during your bread making process. The smell comes especially from fermenting yeast used in the bread. If you notice that there is a smell coming out of your bread that is VERY similar to the beer, liquor, wine, or vinegar your bread has, then you may realize the smell comes from using yeast in the bread making process. The smell comes naturally due to the process of yeast, and the smell is completely safe and normal to eat.
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Usually, yeast-scented dough is not something you need to worry about, it is a natural part of the fermentation process. You can get strong alcoholic odors from a dough that is been left too long at room temperature. You will have a few off-putting smells once your dough has been fermenting for some time.
If you open up the container of your dough and can smell the smells when it is opened, that is fine. Some people note that their dough may smell alcohol, beer, or be really sour when it is being formed, or it may smell really acidic when it is being formed, but that is totally normal, and it does not mean that your dough is not good. Yes, your dough may smell bad if it is going aoff, but it may also smell bad from the fermentation process.
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If your dough smells rancid, it could be a good indication you will want to throw it out. If your dough smells of cheese or something that is rancid, you will want to get rid of it immediately. If it is got that fetid smell, then you probably trapped some bacteria or molds in the dough that have compromised it, and you need to throw it out and start over.
Yes, if your dough smells acidic, that means the yeast is not activating properly. If the sour smell is mild, then it will go away when you bake, but if the bread that comes out has this kind of smell, then that means that you likely over-fermented it, or used too much yeast, as mentioned earlier. A loaf of bread may smell sours, either because it is spoiled already, or due to a natural process of fermentation occurring as we bake.
If bread smells sour, but there is no mold, then that is due to high-temperature fermentation of dough over an extended period of time. Bread smells sour if you are using too much yeast, fermentation of the dough is prolonged, or at a high temperature. If the bread smells like rotten eggs, that means something is wrong with the fermentation.
It is also clearer now why the bread might sometimes smell strange, and it does not necessarily mean that the loaf has gone bad. While most of the time, odors disappear once bread loaves come out of the oven, sometimes they stay, and you can smell them from the freshest baked loaves too. The good news is, typically, by baking the bread, you get rid of both the odor as well as alcohol from fermenting yeast in the mix. In short, when you smell an alcohol or vinegary odor coming off of your bread, the yeast is probably responsible.
Unfortunately, this intense alcohol, wine, beer, or even vinegar-like odour simply comes from the process, and does not mean that your bread is any worse. Just know the smell does not mean that your bread is acidic, or even that it is not cooked properly.
Your bread almost definitely has that boozy flavor throughout the entire process of making your own bread. However, there is another reason your bread (especially homemade) may have this nasty, acidic odour your bread has. It is important to note that the smell of the sour in your dough and the sour in your finished product (the bread) are two different things.
As I have just mentioned, the sourness is the result of excessive fermentation, or adding too much yeast when making the bread. The tart flavors come from acids produced by the bacteria and microorganisms in your starter, and also, the type of flour used contributes to that flavour. The mildly tart aroma comes from natural acids created during fermentation.
When added to dough, yeast converts the sugars in the matter, producing carbon dioxide and alcohol, and acting as the leavening agent. When too much yeast is mixed in to your dough, the yeast starts producing a lot of carbon dioxide gas. If you do not allow the dough to ferment long enough, the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast escapes before the dough has had time to rise sufficiently. Carbon dioxide is what makes bread dough rise, but if you are low on sugar, yeast does not make enough carbon dioxide, and your dough turns acidic.
Your dough will not rise well, as much of the yeast will be encapsulated anyway, and it cannot get into the flour in your dough to feed. If your bread is over-fermented, this could be because your dough is too hot, or, if left in the fridge overnight, does not cool down fast enough to stop the fermentation.
Why does my dough smell weird?
You may smell fermented yeast in the smell. Sugars are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide by it. If the dough is over-fermented, it gives off a stale beer-like odor. Most alcohol typically bakes off, although occasionally, some are still present in the baked loaf.
How to fix over fermented dough?
If your dough has been over fermented, there are a few things you can do to try and salvage it. First, you can punch down the dough to release some of the gas. Then, you can let it rise again for 30-60 minutes to see if that helps. You can also try shaping it and baking it as is. If all else fails, you can always use it for breadcrumbs or croutons.
Why does my bread smell like vinegar?
Bread that smells like vinegar is often caused by a problem with the starter. The starter is a mix of flour, water, and yeast that is used to leaven bread. It is what makes bread rise and gives it its distinctive flavor. If the starter is not working properly, it can cause the bread to smell like vinegar.