The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why does Hamelman add instant yeast to his Volkonbrot & Pumpernickel?

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loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Why does Hamelman add instant yeast to his Volkonbrot & Pumpernickel?

Why does Hamelman add instant yeast to his Volkonbrot & Pumpernickel?

I've read that sourdough bread is best for diabetics due to a lower glycemic index.   He does things 1/2 right in that a large portion of the dough has a sourdough culture, but then he wants you to add instant yeast at the end in the final mix then have a 1 hour rise time before baking.

Why does he do this?  They didnt have instant yeast years ago and made very good pumpernickel and Volkonbrot I'm sure.

What would happen if this recipe was altered to entirely sourdough?  Would it be too gummy or not enough rise?

I like his stories and wanting to be authentic, but to me adding instant yeast is not genuine/honest.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

in a production enviromnment (according to personal communication with Mr Süpke).

This way of baking is pretty much standard throughout Germany, see my other blog entries, 

or the Sauerteig blog posts on Baecker Süpke's blog

http://baeckersuepke.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/thema-sauerteig/

http://baeckersuepke.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/thema-sauerteig-2-mild-oder-sauer/

http://baeckersuepke.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/thema-sauerteig-3-anstellgut-und-zu-versauerndes-mehl/

 Being German and having lived in very different Regions of Germany I can say that Hamelman's formulas from the "Rye" chapter are as authentic German as it gets.

The very original Pumpernickel wasn't leavened, it was just rye meal, water and salt, and cooked for up to 24 hours. But that's another very interesting story (eventually involving the US military ...)

For breads above 50% rye you can just leave out the yeast and proof twice as long; for breads with lower rye content you have to add something - e.g wheat sour (see my "Ultimate Caraway") or yeast.

Cheers,

Jürgen 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

on TFL.  I never knew that pumpernickel over 50% rye didn't require a SD starter and all you had to do is be patient and let it ferment on its own for twice as long.  I have to give this a try once I find the elusive Pumper Berries.  Blame it on the US military for it being less than a dime at a nickle :-)

Thanks Juergen.  B

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Dabrownman,

Not being a technical writer - merely a writer of software - I seemed to have ignored the necessity for curly braces at the right place ...

The paragraphs in question should read:

The very original Pumpernickel wasn't leavened, it was just rye meal, water and salt, and cooked for up to 24 hours. But that's another very interesting story (eventually involving the US military ...)

For the breads in Hamelman's Rye chapter applies:

For breads above 50% rye you can just leave out the yeast and proof twice as long; for breads with lower rye content you have to add something - e.g wheat sour (see my "Ultimate Caraway") or yeast.

 

Without rye sour you would make the most incredible bricks, or you could call them "Horse Bread".

Some suggest that you can let the paste for Horse Bread (Bran + rye / barley meal + salt + peas / beans) stand for 24 hours and you will then get some leavening activity - this seemed to have been the bread of the poor in old Britain. Haven't tried thius yet.

The pumpernickel story might start at similar roots.

The German wiki pages for Pumpernickel are quite informative:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpernickel

Initially it was rye meal + water + salt- without any leavening agent. This was mixed and then baked in a falling oven from 200C to 100C for up to 24 hours.

And the German Immigrant probably brought Pumpernickel to the USA by introducing mobile ovens to bake this bread.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Sch%C3%BCtte

The German document that tell you what a bread has to contain if you want to call it a specific name 

says about Pumpernickel:

  • Pumpernickel wird aus mindestens 90 Prozent Vollkornerzeugnissen in beliebigem Verhältnis zueinander hergestellt.
  • Die zugesetzte Säuremenge stammt zu mindestens zwei Dritteln aus Sauerteig.
  • die Backzeit muss mindestens 16 Stunden betragen.

- It has to contain at least 90% wholegrain products (in any relation, meaning coarse meal, flour, ...)

- Two thirds of the total acid has to come from sourdough

- It has to be baked for at least 16 hours

I will try an original pumpernickel eventually - when I am in the mood to sit in front of my oven for 24 hours ...

Cheers,

Juergen

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

US military have to do with Pumpernickle bread?  I would have thought that the GI Joe's would have been more into German beer like me :-)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

That article talks definitely about field kitchens to make pumpernickel, not field breweries ...

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

What would that do to our electric bill both from inside the oven and air conditioning bill on a typical Maryland 95 degree summer day.

anna

 

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Well fortunately it's only at 250F degrees so the bill wouldn't be that bad I dont think :)

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

and the bread result sooo delicious :)

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

in Greenstein's 'Secrets of a Jewish Baker'.   Also, I was under the (wrong) impression that adding old bread to new dough was just for economic reasons, but from your URLs I see that it does indeed make a difference in taste. 

anna

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Anna, Altus most certainly changes taste, dough consistency and fermentation times.

Some breads are made with a starter of 100% old bread ("Brotfermentation"), although this seems to be quite regional - I never had one of these, but it's on my list to try out!

Juergen

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I've learned not to make bricks and control myself to only make 1 loaf at a time most of the time, I don't have enough old bread to make a loaf of just old bread,.  Bur it sure sounds interesting.  Your bread knowledge and smarts are apparent Juergen.  We Loafers can learna lot from you.

suave's picture
suave

You say "they didnt have instant yeast years ago".  Dropping the "instant" part, since Hamelman rightly does not consider it to be any different, care to guess when this was?

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Early on, the sediment or the top froth from beer fermentation was used to leaven bread. Since beer is known to have been brewed 7,000 years ago, it is likely that using its yeast for bread leavening occurred soon after. Records do show that beer yeast was used for bread leavening at least 3500 years ago. It would not surprise me were beer yeast to have preceded sourdough as the leaven of choice.

Instant and active dry are simply means of packaging yeast so it's usable for a longer time. Fresh yeast is very short lived. All three are simply beer yeast, the same yeast that lives in most, if not all, grains. The primary differences between the beer yeast strain and the yeast strain in sourdough are that while both live natively in grains, the sourdough strain is better adapted to the acidity caused by the aceto- and lacto- bacteria, and the sour-adapted yeast is a slower and less consistent fermenter.

Once the acidity of the starter has developed, it is mixed with the rest of the dough ingredients, diluting the acidity enough for a beer strain to work. Using a beer yeast at this time provides more control of the fermentation; thus scheduling.

cheers,

gary

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Thanks Gary for your reply.  I don't know if this is true  or not but I recall reading a few years back that instant yeast was engineered in the 1950's, that it was a hyperactive yeast that eats sugars like mad, and multiplies like crazy.. the article said it wasn't natural and gave the bacteria no chance.  The artical was all for slow fermentation and the bacteria in sourdough culture.  They said there is a lot of health benefits to sourdough culture over this "engineered" yeast. Maybe I was misinformed.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Modern packaged yeasts are in no way unnatural. Their high level of activity is due to having been selected over many generations for certain qualities, for example viability and high reproduction rates in a normal dough environment. The yeast are then encapsulated to protect them and packaged for sale. Similarly, lager yeast are selected for their secretion of enzymes to break down complex sugars and viability at low temps. Lager yeasts out-perform other strains at the preferred secondary fermentation temperature of 0.5℃ or 33℉. Ale yeast are selected for working at about 10℃ or 50℉. Likewise wine yeast are selected for high alcohol viability. The yeast in sourdough simply self-select for a high acidity environment. It's the acids, not the yeast that makes the difference in sourdough.

Do not become infatuated with the all natural is good meme. Had humankind not learned to denature our foods, we would not be nearly so diverse and wide spread over the earth. Many now-common foods would not be digestible without denaturing by heat treatment (cooking) or treating with chemicals (think hominy, for which an alkali bath has made the niacin usable). What about food preservation that keeps us from starving over the winter? Heat to can or dehydrate, chemicals, e.g. salt and capsaicin to kill bacteria are denaturing.   Ever eat tapioca (highly touted by the all natural foods fanatics proselytes) or cashews? Highly toxic until denatured. Likewise, the common, delicious poke plant, which, by the way, is higher in vitamin A than spinach.

And, just to poke some fun:

cheers,

gary

 

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Thanks for the replies.   I don't know if I was misinformed or not, but I read that today's "instant" yeast (i.e. quick rise) that you buy in packets at the store was engineered (in the 1950's) and that loaves made with it aren't as nutritious.  I read it was a hyperactive yeast that don't give the bacteria that's in sourdough any chance.

Would it be any more healthy to a diabetic to not use this instant yeast as Hamelman's directs us to with Volkonbrot & Pumpernickel, and instead use a sourdough culture only?   I want bread with a low glycemic index and also want that bacteria colony in the bread to colonize in my intestine--I also read that was beneficial.

I'm new to all of this as you can tell and appreciate any help, thanks.

suave's picture
suave

Adding/removing yeast really would not make any difference in case, since in properly leavened rye loaf the most important part of fermentention occurs in the sour, and final fermentation is relatively short, and at times not done at all.  Yeast, as was mentioned before is simply a means for giving bread some volume and ensuring that it happens in timely fashion.  Pumpernickel is even more special since purists will tell you it should not be leavened at all.

Bacteria from bread are not going to colonize your intestines, not after being exposed to baking temperatures, simple as that.  Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or lying.  You want live cultures - you need to eat live cultures.

You can not really tell how nutritious one bread is compared to another if both are made from the same ingredients.  That is it entirely depends what do you mean by saying "nutritious".  

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

I guess for my purposes "nutritious" means low glycemic index.  Would the glycemic index be lower if instant yeast wasn't added to Hamelman's pumpernickel bread?  (Adding more sourdough culture instead).

suave's picture
suave

I haven't a clue.  The recorded history of my family shows that our three most common causes of death are old age,  Germans, and cancer.  Not a single case of diabetes though.

breaducation's picture
breaducation

I don't believe that bread made with instant yeast and sourdough is less healthy than bread made with only sourdough. Commercial yeast is not an unhealthy product. It's the way it's used that can make a less healthy bread. See, if you use a bunch of commercial yeast to inflate a purely white bread(think a baguette or wonder bread) then you're going to have a loaf that is pretty devoid of nutrients. Adding sourdough to such a loaf would probably only make it slightly more healthy if at all.

You get the most benefit from combining sourdough with whole grains. The acids in sourdough will partially break down the grain for you, making them easier to digest and will also inhibit nutrient blocking enzymes. Making such a loaf with instant yeast AND sourdough would likely not decrease these benefits much if at all because the grain is still getting acidified. You would just experience shorter fermentation times.

Also you have it a bit backwards, sourdough will kill off commercial yeast eventually, not the other way around. Commercial yeast cannot stand up to the highly acidic environment that the soudough cultures thrive in.

Hope this helps.

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

From my understanding a white wheat flour sourdough loaf of bread has a glycemic index in the mid 50's as opposed to white bread made with instant yeast @ 77 glycemic index (which is high).  So it seems sourdough bread is much more healthy.

My brain tells me that the beneficial bacteria in the sourdough culture (which produces the acid) would not have enough time to work on the final amount of flour Hamelman adds at the end since it only has 1 1/2 hours to work on the dough, whereas the commercial yeast he adds in at the end would jump all over that dough.  It seems like the bread would not be as sourdough as a 100% sourdough loaf and higher in the glycemic index--and therefore less healthy to a diabetic (or to anyone really because diabetes is a growing epidemic).

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

this thread turned into a discussion of diabetes ...

My father-in-law has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, and after eating my sourdough bread - with or without the yeast boost - his his blood sugar doesn't spike, but the sourdough breads he buys at the artisan bakery around the corner have an impact. (I didn't try their breads yet)

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Yeah it turned into a discussion about diabetes because me, the OP is diabetic lol and that's why I was concerned about Hamelman using IY.   Anyways, I found out I don't need to add IY I just let it ferment longer on the final stage.  I just baked a loaf of his 3 stage 70% rye and it's the best bread I've ever tasted.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

You jumped right into it, selecting the more demanding formulas and having great success!

Wonderful. Enjoy!

Juergen

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Next time I want to retard the final dough mix (stage 4) overnight in the refrigerator for even longer fermentation.  Then pinch off the right amount from the dough bin in the fridge, shape it, and let it rise over about 4 hours or so then bake.

I can only think this would produce healthier bread for me, a diabetic.  Seems like it would be lower glycemic index retarding it.  My only concern is if it would mess up the dough structure much and perhaps not produce as good results for me.

I've kept a sourdough bin in the fridge for years now and it's worked well for me (for white sourdough bread).  I learned this trick from the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes book.  Bread can stay in the fridge even 5 days or longer and it tastes better a few days in the fridge than 1 day.  (And this bread was started with a sourdough starter--I haven't bought IY in years.)   I don't know if the rye bread will behave in the same manner or not.

Btw, on a different note, I went to the Whole Foods Market today and picked up 3 pounds of rye kernels at a good price (I think it was 99 cent a pound).  I am going to smash em with a hammer, chop em briefly in a spice grinder, and soak the whole kernals--all soon for some nice pumpernickel.  Can't wait to bake my first loaf of authentic pumpernickel.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

most diabetes type 2 affected persons can be cured.  The information is available, time tested and simple.  Control the amount of carbohydrates consumed.   Bread is a high carbohydrate food.  Eating bread, high glycemic index or not is still gram for gram a high carbohydrate food and in this sense not healthy for a diabetic.  Reducing the intake of carbohydrates reduces the amount of needed insulin.  Reducing the dependence of insulin is the goal.   People who sell insulin are the opposite mentality and see a gold mine in keeping diabetics on insulin (trying to consume as much as possible under a specific dosage of insulin which eventually rises) when many of them could be free of such dependence.    A billion dollar industry is based on people staying diabetic.

 

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Thanks, yeah I know it can be cured. I have a very good book on the subject and have been researching the Internet for days.  I've changed my diet.  I eat lots of fiberous things like lentils, beans, tons of vegetables and I stay away from carbohydrates as much as possible.  But I can still eat a slice or 2 of bread a day and keep my blood sugar down.   Those two slices I eat a day I want to be the very best bread I can eat.   I've found after changing my diet that eating a slice or two of sourdough (small thin slices) doesn't spike my blood sugar at all, but a slice of wonder bread most certainly would.  I want to make 80%+ rye bread and pumpernickel, both sourdough--sourdough rye is the healthiest, lowest glycemic bread one can eat from my understanding.

The carbohydrates I do eat must have at least 20% fiber.  Beans are the best source for fiber.  I also eat kellog's all bran original.  I eat tons fo cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. all the time.

I'd like to be able to make a nice flavorful, artisan loaf of bread that is lowest in glycemic index and is at least 20% fiber--that's my goal.  Two slices a day.

The recommended fiber intake is 35 grams a day and the average American eats 10 grams of fiber.  I am trying to keep it at 35 grams.  Eating more fiber helps one digest more slowly and helps dibetics since it helps prevent spiking.  I can't eat beans and kellog's bran cereal, along with TONS of vegetables, all the time: fiberous bread is a good source of fiber as well (in moderation of course).  My blood sugar two weeks ago was 165 when I woke up in the morning and always over 200 during the day.. I've brought it down to 125 in the morning and at most 165 cap during the day--by changing my diet (adding fiber , reducing carbs etc..)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but not eaten every day, not even once a week.  I changed my diet several years ago when I saw myself heading toward diabetes and swollen ankles.    I've had to shift the focus of my bread baking hobby.

If we could pack as much fiber into a slice of bread as there are carbs, there would be no need to worry.  Keep in mind, a glycemic index (GI) has it's fallibilities too and is just one kind of guide, I would not rely on it 100%.  For example fructose does not register on a GI that doesn't mean it's good.  

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

Oh my I just bit into this loaf of Hamelman rye I baked -- 3 stage 70% sourdough rye -- and I'm in heaven!  It's SOOO tangy and flavorful!  Sour, sweet, nutty, yummy bread. (I knew this bread was gonna be plenty tangy/sour cause the starter on stage 2 was insanely acidic--yum.) It came out perfect and I didn't even bother with the instant yeast.  I'll just follow all his recipes and skip where he says to add IY and just double the proof time.

I'm so glad I got this book.  I have never in my life tasted such good bread!  I can't wait to try the 80% and 90% rye and the pumpernickel!

 

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

I just had another bite of this bread and I am about to cry, it's something I've never ever experienced before in my life.  40 years of eating bland bread.  I just gave my boyfriend a buttered slice and he's in heaven too--he said he's never tasted any bread like it before nor as good.  It's inredible the way the flavors meld along with the blissful tanginess.  (I shudder at the thought of caraway seeds in this bread btw -- it would change / ruin the *heavenly* flavor.)  I can only imagine what the 80%, 90% and pumpernickel taste like in comparison.  I'll find out soon!  I think after eating this bread it's going to be hard going back to eating wheat--we'll see, maybe it's the 40% German in me.

Btw, this bread's rye portion (70%) was made with entirely Hodgson Mills Rye Flour, which is coarse grain--worked out well and so affordable @ $5 a 5lb bag.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

along with a hefty helping of Limburger cheese (that real stinky stuff), a side of a couple of German pickles, and a bottle of dark lager. Now you're truly 40% German ;)

anna

 

loafgeek's picture
loafgeek

I'm sure I'd love the German pickles and dark lager, but I don't think I could ever eat Limburger cheese.  I've never even smelled Limburger cheese before but after reading about it I don't want to lol!  One of the bacteria they use in the cheese is responsible for foot odor in humans!   Eww!  LOL!

I just had a slice of rye--with some feta cheese is that good enough to be German, lol?--from a loaf I just baked: Hamelman's 3-stage 80% rye bread.  It turned out really good as well.  Next will be the three stage 90% rye.   Btw after doing this 3-stage detmolder method a couple times now, and it producing such a fragrant tangy starter, I think I want to use it for all rye breads in his book even for ones that call for a single stage sourdough poolish.  I am a strong believer in the Detmolder method now! :)

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

eat it when the opportunity presents itself :)   It does reek. My mom would store it on the outside window sill (haven't seen one here in the States for ages) in order not to compromise the fridge, heh.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

The results speak for themselves I see:-)

How exciting that your loaf turned out...now check out the other rye formulas that people have baked here and you will be in Rye Heaven, if there is such a place,  (I think it is here :-) and baking up a storm.

Thanks sooo much for sharing your success here too!

Take Care,

Janet