Kefir sourdough bread
I remember reading a few weeks back on this site about incorporating kefir into bread recipes, but I don't remember if anyone posted any results.
I tried this a few days ago and made one of the best loaves I have made to date. I started with my usual 50% hydration sourdough starter and fed it a mixture of 50/50 kefir and water and 50/50 whole wheat and bread flour for 3 days to get the starter used to addition of kefir. I noticed that my starter would rise a lot faster than normal (twice as fast as usual).
The final bread was about 75-80% hydration. I used the following amounts:
2 oz starter
2.5 oz whole wheat flour
7.5 oz bread flour
4 oz kefir
4 oz water
1 tsp salt
I fermented at room temperature (about 72 F) and stretched and folded every 60 minutes for 4 hours. I shaped into a loaf, slashed, and let it bench proof for another hour. 15 minutes before putting into the oven, I brushed it with a mix of 1 tsp melted butter and 1 egg yolk. I then liberally applied sesame seeds and pushed them in with a piece of saran wrap.
I baked it for about 20 minutes on a stone in a 475 oven (that is the max my oven can get to even when I set it to 500).
The bread had a dark brown crust, but it stayed soft due to the glaze. The sesame seeds toasted nicely and gave the bread near the crust a subtle sesame flavor. The crumb was nice and open, and the bread was incredibly moist. The flavor was a bit more mellow than my normal sourdough and I can't say enough about the flavor.
I will definitely be making this bread again in a couple of days, and will be sure to take some pictures and post them.