Bakers, why is this dough bitter?
December 20, 2012 5:27 PM   Subscribe

I made a pie crust an hour ago and the dough tastes bitter to me. The ingredients: Gold Medal all-purpose white flour, lard, water, egg, vinegar, salt. I tasted each ingredient just now (except the egg) and they all seem fine. Does anyone know where if an interaction among some ingredients might be causing bitterness? Or are my taste buds wrong? I'd appreciate any relevant advice.
posted by wryly to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to fill it with something sweet, I doubt that the flavor of the crust alone is going to predominate.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:30 PM on December 20, 2012

Sometimes raw flour tastes funny. Could that be it?
posted by the_blizz at 5:33 PM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Double check your flour. How old is it? To me, the bitterness of rancid flour is exacerbated by baking. You're sure there's no baking soda of any kind in there? A mis-mixed ratio of soda to vinegar will leave enough soda un-reacted to taste. Same w/baking soda (although it contains its own reactant, I believe.)

It's definitely not your lard or egg-- those would taste spoilt, not bitter. I'm guessing flour rancid, not baked all the way through, or too much vinegar. Have someone else taste it, though, sometimes my tastebuds go nuts after I've been baking for a long time and smelling all the ingredients for hours.
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:47 PM on December 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

My first thought was that your flour's probably rancid.
posted by windykites at 5:50 PM on December 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah flour is perishable and is extremely nasty when it's rancid.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:06 PM on December 20, 2012

Did you happen to make the dough in metal bowl? Vinegar (acid) can have a nasty reaction to metal, which can lend itself to some gross tastes.
posted by banannafish at 6:33 PM on December 20, 2012

wryly, is your white flour bleached or unbleached?
posted by bakerina at 6:45 PM on December 20, 2012

Cook up some of the dough either in a pan on the stove or in the microwave. How does it smell? How does it taste when cooked?
posted by theora55 at 8:34 PM on December 20, 2012

I've definitely had flour go rancid (causing a bitter taste), but it's usually whole wheat flour. I've started putting a date on a bag of flour when I open it to make sure I throw it away if I have too long of a dry spell from baking.

Whole grain flours are best kept in a cool area or even refrigerated- depending on your climate this may be something to consider for your white flour as well.
posted by Secretariat at 10:34 PM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never make pie dough without equal servings of salt and sugar.

This is why we find commercial dough, like with most pizzas, "delicious"; it is salty AND sugary at the same time.

That being said, I think the bitterness will be a nice contrast to the pie.

(Also you should renounce lard and use an all-butter crust. The secret of pie crust is the size of the pieces of butter.)

(Also you can renounce the vinegar for vodka, but i do like a little vinegar.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:37 AM on December 21, 2012

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