I'm following this yogurt-based sourdough recipe, and (right now) at the 18-hour mark, it (the dough) smells like alcohol. Is this a bad sign, that it should not be consumed? And, moreover, is this recipe perhaps dangerous for leaving yogurt out for extended periods of time? Or will the baking process make it safe to eat?

Note: I'm aware that when sourdough starter smells like alcohol, it needs to be fed. But this is actual dough and not starter, which is cause for my concern.

Edit: Finished baking it. Smelled sour-dough-y and fine so I tried a bit. Not as good as regular sourdough but I think the alcohol-smelling issue was actually a non-issue.

  • 2
    It's actually acceptable here to answer your own question. I'd recommend that you take out the last line you edited in and submit it as an answer below - that way you'll get credit for both and anybody else with the same question would see your results.
    – logophobe
    May 6, 2016 at 13:21
  • Yeast make alcohol; it's normal.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 6, 2016 at 13:56
  • I'm with @ecnerwal on this: if the yeasts had very good conditions, even the dough can smell noticeably "yeasty" and/or alcoholic.
    – Anpan
    Aug 4, 2016 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


You should try the same recipe again, but use a cloth instead of plastic wrap to cover your dough for the fermentation period. The alcohol smell is the ethanol the yeast is producing, and in my own experience the more anaerobic the greater the level of ethanol produced.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.