The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking with whey

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Felila's picture
Felila

Baking with whey

I have a yogurt strainer that I use to make Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese (lebneh). The whey drips out of the yogurt, into the box that holds the strainer.


Yesterday I felt experimental and used this whey instead of water when I made my usual ciabatta bread. The whey was thicker than usual, because the yogurt I'd bought had been thickened with pectin rather than allowed to thicken on its own; I won't be buying THAT brand again. The whey was FULL of lactose and some milk solids.


The dough rose enthusiastically (all the extra sugars, I think) but didn't have as much oven spring as usual. The bread is moist and tasty.


In the future, I'll be baking with the whey, but keeping on eye on the dough to make sure that it doesn't over-rise.


 

Ford's picture
Ford

When I use milk, I scald it to denature the protease, an enzyme that promotes the decomposition of protiens such as gluten.


Perhaps, the protease is still in your whey and that this amount coupled with that already in the flour may be breaking down the gluten.


Try scalding the whey -- heat it to 190°F (88°C).


Ford

Felila's picture
Felila

Wow, thanks! That is new to me. I thought the whole "scalding the milk" business in baking was an old-fashioned bugaboo, from days when milk wasn't pasteurized.


Perhaps there's something about this in my copy of Harold McGee? NOPE. Not at Cook's Illustrated either. However, I did find discussions scattered here and there in various online venues. like Chowhound. Perhaps the info would be in some of the artisan baking books I haven't been able to afford. Should check them out of the library.


 

Ford's picture
Ford

Jeffrey Hamelman (King Arthur Flour), Bread A baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, p 59-60:
"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.  Bakers often replace whole milk in formulas for convenience, and second because the serum protein is deactivated in dry milk.  Four ounces of dry milk replace 1 quart of whole milk, with the liquid being made up with water."


Further, bread bakers frequently use powdered milk, BUT this dry milk powder is dried by a special process where the milk is heated to a high temperature.  Almost all powdered milk you find on the grocery shelf has not been heated to this high temperature.  King Aurthur sells the "Bakers Special Dried Milk", see: "http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bakers-special-dry-milk-16-oz."


Ford

TNBentRyder's picture
TNBentRyder

for yogurt the milk does need to be heated to 180 and held for a few minutes for the yogurt to develop. After heating and milk temp reduces to 100 the yogurt culture is then added and allowed to set at 100 as the yogurt develops.

caryn1047's picture
caryn1047

I have used the whey in my bread but felt it imparted a bitter taste to the bread.


I make my own yogurt and need to purchase a new strainer.  I have not been able to find one similar to my old one.  It is on a frame that sits into the bowl and has a "triangle" of nylon fabric as the strainer.  Would love to find something similar.


 

Felila's picture
Felila

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisipro-Donvier-Yogurt-Cheese-Maker/dp/B000064841


I'm not at all sure that this is the best, or cheapest, strainer, but it's working for me. It's just the right size for one of the large tubs of yogurt. Not that this is important if you're making your own :)

TNBentRyder's picture
TNBentRyder

any standard fine mesh strainer works fine. Just gently spoon or ladle the yogurt into the strainer and it will drain fine for creamy Greek yogurt. I've also taken quart containers of yogurt, placed the strainer on top, gently turned this over to drain the whey into a bowl set in the fridge.

TuzaHu's picture
TuzaHu

I hear of that but why isn't pasturized milk already scalded?


I use canned condenced milk anyway, so I know that's cooked to death.  Also pectin is great in bread as it retains moisture.  Sometimes I add some pectin or unflavored geletin to my dough, both keep the moisture inside the bread.

Felila's picture
Felila

Ordinary pastureurized milk is cooked at a lower temperature than needed for scalding. Ultra-pasteurized milk, I believe, HAS been cooked at temperatures that break down the protease.


Pectin may be great in bread, but I don't like it in yogurt. The yogurt in the strainer did not thicken up properly.

sagharbormo's picture
sagharbormo

I made lebnah a couple of days ago and had about 2 cups of whey left over from straining greek yogurt for 2 days in a wet dish towel. I tried adding some whey, maybe 1/2c  to my sourdough AP starter about 6 hrs after last feeding it to see what would happen. It took about 10 hrs more to get going and then it became a very active bubbly. I had been afraid that the whey critters had killed off the yeasties, but evidently they were having a very slow dance before the fireworks.


BTW, I added 1/2 c green pepper, 1/2 scallion greens, l fresh serrano chili w/ seeds, 2 cloves garlic, ~1/2c parsley, all minced & salt to the 4 c of bland lebnah cheese & the taste was brilliantly flavorful some friends said. They asked me where I bought it, so was flattered.

abdosoliman's picture
abdosoliman

I couldn't find yogurt without pectin and our area have small diary that deliver milk from grass-fed herd. I ordered yogurt maker from amazon, it makes qts of yogurt. If you like making labanah on regular basis probably you can use the larger model that has 2 qts container. I found the freeze dried starter gives more consistent results than using yogurt from previous batch, it cost $1.00 to make 2 qts of milk in addition to the cost of the milk itself, 

Felila's picture
Felila

My bread made with whey tasted fine just out of the oven and a day after, but two-day-old bread had turned bitter. Someone else reported the same thing. Why is this?