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Help me find "powdered sour" [moved from Home Cooking]

I've been going through a Polish cookbook of mine with the desire to make Polish Rye like many places here in Chicago. Just wondering if anyone has a suggested source for "powdered sour" which the author describes as "An integral ingredient that gives Rye bread its distinctive mellow, tangy, sour flavor. Powdered sour is available at any quality baking supply house or through mail order"

1) What is a good source for this either online or in Chicago? A cursory search of the internet did not help me immediatley . . which leads me to
2) Searching for "powdered sour" reveals links to "powedered sour cream" . . same thing? related?

It was suggested elsewhere this may be the same thing, is it? http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...


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  1. I suspect "sour salt" or citric acid. My Hungarian mother used it when she wanted sour flavour without vinegar or lemon juice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nyleve

      Yes, it;s definitely sour salt. google that and you will find many sources. If you check spice aisles when you shop different store you could also find it local to you.

      I love that stuff, eat it straight!

    2. Sour salt or powdered buttermilk. Maybe.

      1. I found citric acid powder/sour salt at Agway during canning season but am nto sure if it is sold year-round.

        1. It is sour salt. I've seen it stocked by spices, salts, Kosher and seasonal/canning sections at grocers. In most areas it will be a seasonal item. You might want to check your local Ace Hardware - they seem to keep some canning supplies on hand year round.

          I've mainly seen it sold in a plastic container, a little shorter than an oatmeal cylinder. It lasts a while and is fairly inexpensive.

          1. I buy citric acid at my local Indian or Persian markets. If you have one nearby, look in the spice aisle.

            1. I'm fairly certain now it's either this, Heidelberg Rye Sour (unavailable) http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

              or one of these (in 50# bags!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: patrad

                You live in or near Chicago, which has one of the largest Polish populations. Hit up some Polish grocery stores. Also it , as it has been suggested here, check the Kosher sections of grocery stores.

              2. Citric acid in a bread recipe sounds a bit strange. I've come across several rye bread recipes calling for buttermilk, so perhaps what you want is buttermilk powder. How much does the recipe call for? If it's measured in tsp it could be citric acid (doubtful), the deli rye flavor you came across (that would be my guess), or some concoction such as patrad suggests, but if it's measured in ounces or larger, it's got to be buttermilk powder, which you can find online and probably at Whole Foods. You'll probably find it along side the specialty flours in 1 lb packs, but there may be some in the bulk section. Bob's Red Mill is a widely available brand.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Zeldog

                  OP is not incorrect, nor is the recipe or posters in reply here incorrect in what is "sour". Yes, in some bread recipes butter milk is used and modern day has seen the shortcut (and a good one!) of buttermilk powder. But that is not sour, sour salt. We Polanski love our sour especially with the rye flavor, see Zurek. (a sour Rye soup that is a slightly fermented item) Try a google search of sour salt rye bread recipe.

                  Ain't it cool you learned a new bread tradition?

                  1. re: Quine

                    Thank you, I do love Zurek, I could not stop eating it when I was in Krakow last Summer. That's also on my list to create soon.

                2. Sour salt can be found in the kosher section.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paprkutr

                    I have nothing educational to report - however, I must say, I learned something new within this post and these replys and really enjoyed reading them! I made up a recipe for German Salt Rye using sour cream and it's dead on...

                  2. When I made rye bread I used dill pickle juice which was suggested in the recipe. It did give it a sour note and the smell wonderful.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Wow, that's unique. Could you post the recipe?