The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kefir sourdough bread

podwika's picture

Kefir sourdough bread

Hi all,

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.  

crunchy's picture

Did any of the kefir tanginess come through? I've never used kefir in bread, but use it in waffles all the time, and it does make them extra good.

althetrainer's picture

I don't use kefir to make bread because I love drinking it ;-p but I do save the whey from making kefir cream and cheese and use the whey to make bread.  Since the probiotics are killed during baking and the whey does the same tricks in making bread I figure I can cheap out on this one.  The kefir whey does give a more tangy flavor and boost the final volume.  I love it!




Soundman's picture

The kefir sounds interesting and tangy. One part of your post made me wonder, however:

I shaped into a loaf, slashed, and let it bench proof for another hour. 

Slashing, or scoring, is usually done just before the loaf goes into the oven. It helps the loaf spring up in the oven and prevents expansion in a weak area that might lead to a "blowout".

Slashing and then proofing for an hour would likely decrease the oven spring, because the "skin" will be weak, the gas will dissipate, resulting in a flatter loaf.

Just a thought...


podwika's picture

Hi David,


Thanks for that.  I still got good oven spring on this one, perhaps due to the extra action by the kefir probiotic mix.  I usually slash right before I put into the oven, but for this one, I wanted a good coating of the glaze and sesame seeds. 


I think I will try that with my next batch of this recipe (starter has been going for 2 days).  

I will definitely post some pics of that one.



Soundman's picture

Hi Mike,

Glad to hear you still got good oven spring!

How did the kefir change the flavor of the bread?