The Fresh Loaf

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A winemaker wants to be a wine-baker...

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Erzsebet Gilbert's picture
Erzsebet Gilbert

A winemaker wants to be a wine-baker...

Hello, everybody!


So, here in Hungary, it seems like everybody's got a farm, and coextensively a vineyard.  My husband David and I don't, but we do have an incredibly kind old neighbor who's teaching us to make our own red wine. It's so much fun - picking our own grapes, grinding them, removing stems...  Like so:




Naturally, in gratitude I've baked him lots of bread.  We're not quite done, but in approximately two weeks we will have (for $50) 150 litres of red wine!  Which leads me to my question:


I've seen and read a number of beer bread recipes.  But obviously, we've got plentiful wine...  Are there any breads which call for a splash of wine in the dough?  It seems like it would be possible, but I've never seen any; I'm still a student baker, so I don't know if there are any chemical or taste-related reason for this.  Does anybody know, and if wine bread exists, any ideas?  


Thanks!  


Erzsebet


Also, if anybody is interested in other pictures and a diary of our winemaking process, it's on my blog - http://erzsebetgilbert.blogspot.com

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hello, Erzsebet!  How I enjoy your blog and e-mails!  After all your travels you never slow down and now your stomping grapes!  I was looking and stumbled upon something interesting over at Wild Yeast's site...she has a "Love Bread" that has a wine soaker for the nuts and fruits...the idea sounds wonderful and thought you might like to check it out!


Sylvia

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture
Erzsebet Gilbert

I saw that Wild Yeast recipe, too!  It looks wonderful, since figs are my favorite fruit!  Thanks, and I know I will talk to you via email soon... love, 


Erzsebet

ericjs's picture
ericjs

The alcohol killing off the yeast might be a concern if you substitute wine straight for water. Diluting it could be an option, or boiling off the alcohol first.


In Richard Betinet's Crust (which I just got in the mail yesterday) there is a recipe for "Cabernet Grape Flour Bread". Apparently there is someone in Canada who dries and powders the skins left over from winemaking to make a "flour". Here's the link from the book.

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture
Erzsebet Gilbert

You're quite right about the issue of alcohol killing the yeast's action; your thought of boiling off the alcohol is a good one; my husband and I experimented with wine in risotto the other day, burning the alcohol away, and it was delicious!  A lot of people have directed me to the grape flour website, and it looks so neat, but I'm afraid that the international postage fees to here in eastern Europe are horrendous!  I've got several French recipes, though, from several kind users here!  Thank you so much for your idea!  I'll keep everybody posted... 


Erzsebet

Darth Lefty's picture
Darth Lefty

As a homebrewer I think I can comment here.


In most beer and wine, the fermentation peters out because it ran out of food.  The exception is high-alcohol brews like sake, which are fed more starch until they do shut down due to too much booze.  So it's unlikely to stop the rise though it should slow it down.


I'd be worried more about preservatives in the wine stopping your yeasties altogether.  It's pretty common in brewing to add chemicals to stop fermentation so you can bottle without fear of explosion.  Campden tablets or sulfur dioxide are the most common in home brewing.  If you use your home brewed wine straight up without preservatives you should have a chance, but you are also risking vinegar.


I'd also wonder about the acidity of the wine and how it affects bread yeast.  Brewing yeast is bred to take it in stride but I don't know enough about bread yeast to comment.  You can bring the pH up with calcium carbonate.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

about the same thing, possibly adding some baking soda to the wine to nutralize it...


Preservatives (there's a joke there in German) stopping yeasts... hold that thought!  Important note!


I've got some self made peach wine from last year (yeast fac) that might prove worthy of an experiment.


Mini

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Wecome to the TFL!  Your blog is wonderful (or should I say, "wondrous").  


Does alcohol really kill off yeast?  There are many beer bread recipes around where beer (or ale) really enhances the flavor of the bread (I mean, sourdough breads).  The alcohol in beer is 5 - 7 % and in wine, ranging from high 12% to low 15%.  That means if we dilute wine by same amount of water, we'll be right?!


There is no substitution to experiment.  The best way to find out is to try, and that's what I shall do. 


Thanks for your excellent fanciful idea - to be a wine baker!  (And why not!)

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture
Erzsebet Gilbert

Shiao-Ping,


Thank you so much for your feedback and sweet comments about my blog!  It means a lot to me.  I'm still uncertain about the wine bread; a number of people pointed out that the bitterness I detected may be due to the natural addition of tannins in the red wine.  I feel ridiculous, as I should have thought of this, but as I'm only now learning the chemistry of winemaking, I suppose I can excuse myself...  It's all like a delicious science project.  I would love to see what results your own experiments yield!  Thank you very much, again,


Erzsebet

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi Erzsebet,


It's a delicious science project alright.  You got me working.  Here are pictures of my wine breads:


 


         


        Pain au Levain with red wine (boiled to take off the alcohol before use)


 


      


       Pain au Levain with red wine (straight from bottle); the color here came out wrongly as the shot was taken when the natural light was out.   The point here is that alcohol does weaken the activity of the natural yeast in the levain significantly; hence, a very dense crumb, but very flavourful and plenty of that alcoholic aroma.


  


In both cases, red wine was 60% of total dough hydration.  Formula was here or http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13989/pain-au-levain-wine-60-hydration .


Thank you for your delicious idea.


Shiao-Ping

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

You mentioned in a comment that you and your husband do not like sourdough taste.  Well, I've just seen a lovely yeasted bread posted by David G : http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14030/pain-rustique-quotbreadquot.  It uses a  Poolish.  If you don't like all white flour, you can certainly substitute whole wheat or rye flour for a portion of the dough flour, as well as substituting some of your lovely wine for a portion of the hydration!!