The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


nicodvb's picture



I'm curious to know if there are (wild-) yeasts that thrive in an  alkaline environment, if it's possible to establish a sourdough -oops, alkadough:-) -culture with that feature and if -ultimately-  bread itself can come out alkaline.

I know there's some (scary) microflora that causes salt-rising bread to rise, but the Clostridium family is not a strain to play with.

Are there studies concentrated on microflora generally considered safe and harmless?

Not that I'm going to start a culture next day :-) , I'm just curious.



Mebake's picture

Even if there is such a microflora, Nico, the taste of Alkaline Food is not detectable nor it is palatable. Acidity to a certain extent, on the other hand, is favored by our tongues.


nicodvb's picture

I tend to favor and eat 90% of sour food.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Sourness is an AVERSIVE taste - we tend to avoid things that are very sour.  By definition we generally find things that are less sour and therefore less acidic (eg more alkaline) to be more palatable.

A little bit of sourness goes a very very long way.  Nobody piles on the lemon juice, but sugar now, that's a different matter entirely.  So is salt.  We seek them out in quantity when possible.

So by definition, we favor alkalinity over acidity.


nicodvb's picture

To me -non native speaker- "less acidic" and "more alkaline" mean different things. Speaking only for myself I can say that I tend to favor mildly sour food, e.g. yogurth, rye bread, cheeses, cheeses, cheeses :-) etc, that have nothing to do  with alkalinity.

Actually I can't even think what food tastes alkaline. What is there? Maybe vegetables such as spinach, chicory, chard and friends? I tend to associate alkalinity to bitterness.

pointygirl's picture

I don't know about chicory but both spinach and chard get much of their flavor from oxalic acid.  Bitter is a separate taste altogether.

Our bodies are an acidic environment so for something to taste sour, it has to be more acidic that our bodies.

Even milk it technically acidic even though it doesn't taste that way to us.

Ford's picture

The micro-organism that gives salt rising bread its flavor and aroma is Clostridium perfringens.  Though this bacterium can have a toxin when cultured in a specific manner, there has been no reported case of harm done by the salt rising dough or the baked bread from this dough.  I and many others find the cheese-like flavor and aroma of this bread palatable and highly desirable.  I find that the bread makes excellent toast.

The dough is, indeed, alkaline.  This bacterium will not survive in the acid medium.

I welcome further comments on salt rising bread, and will be happy to share recipes and information.