The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough deterioration when kefir used

clazar123's picture

Dough deterioration when kefir used

I have noticed that when I use kefir as a liquid in my doughs, the dough tends to deteriorate quickly as if an enzyme reaction is occuring. By the time the dough has finished its bulk fermentation (2-3 hours for this batch), it is fragile feeling and as I  shape it, it tears easily. I am not stretching it aggressively. By the time it has proofed (this batch proofed in 1 hour)it has some 1-2 inch tears obvious on the surface.

This time it was a Potato Rye made with whole grain wheat and rye with a rye sourdough preferment that was perfectly ripe when I added it.I did add 1 tsp of instant yeast as I started  the dough later in the day. The recipe made 2 loaves.

This has happened when I made my all whole wheat sourdough and even all white (AP) loaves made with instant yeast. The only time it happens is when I use kefir. I have no problem when I don't use it.


clazar123's picture

I would like to try and understand what is happening when I use kefir, lately. I used to use kefir in my bread with no problems whatsoever. Now, every time I use it I experience the problem described above. What is actually happening?

Llpens's picture

I just found out about baking bread with kefir. Is it possible or wise to use commercially prepared kefir in kefir sourdough recipes?

The thing is, I've never even tasted kefir sourdough bread and I'd prefer not to have to go to the trouble of getting kefir grains and making my own Kefir only to find out I don't like it. If I like it, I would do it but I'd like to try it at first an easier way by using kefir from the grocery store if possible.



Alisoncc's picture

Thought I might resurrect this thread.

I've been making milk Kefir daily for quite some time, normally making just half a litre. Had some friends visiting who wanted to try it so made extra, then they had to cancel. I had read somewhere about using Kefir as a starter for sourdough so decided to give it a try and to use up the extra. And it came out really fabulous, so have repeated it a few times now. I use my bread maker on bake only cycle to save heating up my kitchen in the middle of an Australian summer.

350gm Plain Wheat Flour
150gm Rye Meal
1 tsp salt
400ml of Kefir - both curds and whey.

Mix dry ingredients, add liquid and mix. The turn out onto bench and lightly knead. Place in bread machine pan, cover with a plastic bag to stop it drying out, and leave to prove for 24 hours. Then bake in machine on bake only cycle for 60 minutes.

It's worth noting that no commercial yeasts are used, only the naturally occurring yeasts and lactobacillus in the Kefir. The Kefir is made in house using milk grains and A2 full fat milk. With no preservatives I keep the bread in the fridge, so it gets pretty chewy by day three, even after cutting it very thin and toasting it. It's the kind of bread you can get your teeth into, and if not careful leave them there.

Health implications:
I don't know whether I am gluten, wheat intolerant or whatever, but my tummy seems very happy eating this. I do make a point of not eating any whilst it's still hot, giving it at least three to four hours to stand. Todate I've had none of the issues I have with normal bought bread, quite the opposite. I have read articles suggesting that the lactobacillus in the Kefir degrades the gluten.