The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

So what is happening when kefir deteriorates a dough?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

So what is happening when kefir deteriorates a dough?

I am putting this in Sourdough because I think it is a lactobacillus issue and I think this audience may have a good understanding of what is happening.

Whenever I use kefir in making bread (any bread-WW,AP,Bread Flour), I find I am rescuing the loaf as the gluten strands are breaking as it rises for the final proof.  I have come to expect that a long rising (as in an overnight retard) WW will experience this consistently so I no longer use kefir for that loaf. Having an abundance of kefir last week, I thought I'd put together a quick, single loaf sandwich bread using a sourdough preferment (1 c flour-1 c water-2 tbsp starter set overnight), 1 tsp instant yeast and using 1 c kefir for the liquid in the final dough (not the preferment). No measurements were precise in this loaf-quick throw together-flour,water,milk,salt,oil,preferment,yeast. Nice soft dough with goodfeeling qualities.Set it to rise and the bulk fermentation was less than 2 hours and already there were some tear marks on the dough as it rose to double. It shaped nicely. I did not overhandle it but the dough had started to feel a little fragile. As the loaves rose for the final proof, there was noticeably more tearing. I let them proof as long as I dared (prob could have gone 10 more minutes) and baked them. The loaves were just ok-a little underproved.

I use standard,brand name AP flour (unbleached-prob Pillsbury or Gold Medal), homemade kefir, SAF instant yeast,homegrown starter,table salt and vegetable oil. Loaves with the same ingredients but NO kefir do just fine. I have narrowed it down to this over time.

So what is actually happening when this happens? Is there any way to counteract it?

Ideas?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

favors the action of proteolytic enzymes, and if I'm not mistaken those beasts release protease, too. Since kefir is very sour...big problems ahead :)

To counteract it you can disolve a tiny amount of bicarbonate in your liquid. I use 1 gr for 1 kg dough and it works perfectly with other souring agents.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

type dough (only one egg, sort of thrown together too) and the dough suddenly started getting sticky and loose while I was kneading it.  I too used only yogurt for liquids.  Fearing the worst,  I bulk rose it in the refrigerator,  when it was cold it was easy to shape and braid and rose nicely as it warmed up.  Try it with your kefir dough and see if it helps.  :)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

So the highly acid environment caused by the kefir (mine is quite tart) is causing proteolytic enzymes to degrade the gluten too much. I gather I would have had a puddle of dough if I didn't short-proof it. I don't know if refrigerating the dough would have helped here,Mini, as my dough was pretty lean but adding a small amount of bicarbonate seems simple enough solution and I will try that.

This seemed a good explanation of how proteolytic enzymes affect the dough.The article is from a manufacturer point of view:

Proteases are used as a processing aid to achieve a more extensible dough rheology, by breaking down proteins to make the dough softer, so it can be stretched further or rise higher. If the dough is too strong to move through equipment properly or the mixing time is too long, bakers can add a protease to shorten the mix time and make the dough more flowable, Bruinsma says.

Still, it is important not to add too much of the enzyme. “You don't find a whole bunch of proteases in use because, if you add too much and it continues to break down the protein, the dough could turn into a liquid dough. You find them more heavily used in tortillas and crackers — bakery items that require a very extensible dough,” Fatula notes.

http://baking-management.com/ingredients/enzymes-101/

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

makes really funny things to doughs, but not only to doughs.

As a side note there are certain cheeses that over the course of  their life release proteases to literally melt down the cheese, so after some time (months, generally) you have a crusty outside and a creamy inside.  I'm mad for that kind of cheeses, up to the point that I make them rot mature in the fridge for months:-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

stayed sticky, as in stick between all your fingers sticky.  Cooling the dough made it easy to work with. It did rise quickly and I baked it in a ring mold and got good oven spring.  The yogurt was too sour to eat straight.  I think the pinch of baking soda sounds like a good idea.  It will also kick up more gas.  Good suggestion.    The brioche came out excellent by the way.

And now I know how to get thinner crackers!  Might even be able to pour them!   Fantastic Thixotropic?     Thanks!   :)

...and what would this do to a rye bread?  make a rye cracker?  later...