The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Goat Milk Sourdough - The Final Word

droidman's picture

Goat Milk Sourdough - The Final Word

I've been working on this one for quite awhile. The original was a variation on the Basic Sourdough in the Bread Baker's Apprentice. Between trying different proportions of the ingredients and consulting the good advice on The Fresh Loaf, I've arrived at this version, which I'll probably stick with for awhile. I've pushed it up over 75% hydration, so I've had to switch from kneading to stretching-and-folding. 

Have also solved problem of oblong boules by turning them out of the bannetons onto small sheets of parchment, instead of sliding directly off the peel. Don't know why I didn't think of this before. Saw it in DMSnyder's educational scoring video and had one of those forehead slapping moments. Still need to work on my scoring...

Regarding the goat milk: I've tried this recipe with whole milk and half-and-half, and have to say that there's something about the goat milk that I cannot put my finger on... I want to say that the flavor is more creamy, but I don't know if that makes sense. 

Firm Starter (biga)

  • wild yeast starter (75% hydration) [200g]
  • bread flour (Dakota Maid) [163g]
  • water [92g]

Final Dough

  • bread flour [617g]
  • whole white wheat flour [127g]
  • sea salt [20g]
  • goat milk scalded then cooled to room temp [307]
  • water at room temp [307]


  1. Mix up firm starter, mist with spray oil, cover bowl with plastic wrap, let rise for approximately 4 hours until doubled.
  2. Refrigerate overnight (12 – 18 hours).
  3. Remove starter from fridge and set on oil-misted countertop. Cut into multiple small pieces, separate, mist with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to warm to room temperature (a couple hours).
  4. Mix final dough. If mixing by hand like I do, you'll probably have to turn it onto the counter and knead a couple minutes to make sure starter is fully incorporated.
  5. Cover and wait 10 minutes. Then do a series of 4 stretch-and-folds, every 10 minutes or so. 
  6. Allow to rise for 3-4 hours until doubled.
  7. Cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Remove from refrigerator and allow to warm up a couple hours. 
  9. Gently remove dough from bowl, shape into two boules, place in floured bannetons, lightly mist bottom with spray oil, cover and proof for at least four hours.
  10. Preheat oven containing bread stone and steam pan to 500 degrees at least one hour before proofing is complete.
  11. Sprinkle semolina on bottom of loaf, then flip over onto piece of parchment paper on peel. Score loaf as desired.
  12. Pour one cup of water into steam pan.
  13. Slide onto baking stone.
  14. Bake until internal temp is nearing 205 degrees, 15-25 minutes.



    ehanner's picture

    Droidman, you are on top of your game with this bread. What a great looking crumb and crust. I've never baked with goat milk before and will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.


    inlovewbread's picture

    Well done. The crumb is impressive considering the goat milk. It seems like the goat's milk might act like more of an "enrichment" therefore making the crumb dense and fluffy. Not the case- as you have shown. Thanks for the write-up. I'm going to have to try this. We love goat's milk around here.

    Did you use fresh goat's milk or the pasteurized kind from the supermarket (Meyenburg)?

    Also, I have tried a similar recipe using half-and-half. I see that you have too. After a day, the bread seamed moist and "steamy" to me- if that makes sense. Did you have this experience, and does this happen at all w/ the goat milk?

    Anyway, thanks for this post- beautiful bread!

    droidman's picture

    Thanks. The milk is Poplar Hill Pasteurized from a goat farm in Minnesota. The bread does stay moist, even though I'm keeping it cut-side down on my bread board (not in a bag). The sour profile imparted by the sourdough starter increases as the days go by.

    dmsnyder's picture


    althetrainer's picture

    and delicious!  What lovely loaf!


    davidg618's picture

    for goat's milk. I live in rural FL, should be able to find it here.

    Beautiful loaves!

    David G

    weavershouse's picture

    That is a beautiful and delicious looking loaf of bread. Great job!


    ehanner's picture

    When you say scalded, you mean over 185F for just a few seconds or is there another temp? The milk is already pasteurized so is this necessary really?


    davidg618's picture


    I always scald milk when called for in a recipe, but I've also wondered if it has relevance to pasteurized milk.

    To pasteurize milk, one needs only to heat raw milk to 161°F and hold that temperature for one-half hour. I ran a small pasteurizer, when I was young using this temp./time profile. I suspect, although there are more modern pasteurizing techniques available using higher temperatures,and shorter hold times, some commercial dairies still use the 161°F/30 minute regimen.

    In Hamelman's Bread (p 59), when I first bought it, I found the following. "When milk is used in yeast breads, it should be heated to about 190°F, a temperature higher than pasteurization, in order to denature the serum protein. Unheated, the serum is active and has a weakening effect on the structure of the gluten."

    I continue to scald milk, but now I know I'm justified doing so.

    David G