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best machine/breadmaker for sourdough? Also: probiotics?

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marinus's picture
marinus

best machine/breadmaker for sourdough? Also: probiotics?

  

Howdy folks-

The only machine that seems sourdough-friendly is the Zojirushi BB-CEC20W [has a sourdough starter feature].

Do you know of a better machine?  I'm guessing that it's at least as good as any other brand, and it's touted as both high-quality and still-in-business [spare-parts exist!].

I've just read that sourdough has a bonus- some probiotic benefits.  Any comments on this, anybody?

Thanks for your time!

marinus

Eagles fly, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.If you don't like that, try: Skeleton walks into a bar, orders a beer and a mop.

 
AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

You'll never get a great sourdough out of a bread machine. I don't have the luxury of an oven (yet!) so I have been relying on a bread machine. Come next month and i'll be investing in a small oven. Your best bet is to do everything by hand and just use the bread machine as an oven if you have that option. But you will not get the oven spring everyone looks for in a sourdough.

So make the dough, autolyse, do the stretch and folds, bulk ferment, then shape the dough in the breadpan and do final rise and choose the bake only option when ready.

The benefits of sourdoughs is a far healthier and tastier bread. As far as probiotics goes I highly doubt that they will make it through the baking.

Grampa Knuckles's picture
Grampa Knuckles

I don't make sourdough often but when I do I use my Assistent Original.  Does a fantastic job for all breads or whatever you bake. 

 

Antilope's picture
Antilope

I have used it to knead, rise and bake sourdough. I also discovered that you can use the Zo to bake breads in a regular size (9 x 5) loaf pan. I do this in the Zo to avoid heating up the house with the regular oven in the summer.

Here is a picture of a Tangzhong Milk Bread loaf rising in my Zo. I used the regular mixing pan to mix, knead and for the 1st proof. I then formed a loaf, put it in the regular (9 x 5) loaf pan and put it in the Zo to rise and be baked.

proth5's picture
proth5

version of "sourdough" is not something those of us who commonly bake with sourdough recognize in any way. It is the result of letting a commercial yeast based mixture age for a couple of days. Certainly you will get some bacteria and wild yeasts cropping up in a couple of days, but it is not the tenderly nurtured culture of wild yeasts and lacto bacilli that I (and most folks here) call "sourdough."

I have the Virtuoso, and I simply use the mix cycle to mix a sourdough based pre ferment and then let it ripen overnight as always. I can then add ingredients the next morning and then I can set it and forget it. One of my more recent blogs contains my favorite formulas.

Does the bread machine produce the ne plus ultra of any type of bread? No. But it is convenient and yes, does not heat up the house.

The Zo is a good machine. I would also look into the Breville - they are in about the same price range.

As many people will tell you, you don't need a bread machine to make any type of bread. But they have their right  to the tree of life. Sourdough brings many benefits (taste and keeping qualities is where I focus), but you might want to research sourdough in general, to understand what it really is before buying a machine in which to make it.

Hope this helps.

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Using a bread machine you won't get the nice, crispy crust people associate with sourdough, nor will you with a loaf pan, which is at the heart of a bread machine.

marinus's picture
marinus

  

Thanks for all the responses [i wish all forums were as active!].

Unfortunately, so far, i'm not much farther ahead.  Yes, i knew bread making machines are compromises: I'm not a True Believer, willing to knead away.  Sue me! :) 

Past that- there's the matter of starter cultures.  The Zojirushi machine *promises* to simplify that potentially laborious process.  But nobody has hands-on experience with it, and web reviews don't include coverage of this feature, sigh.

As far as probiotics go: see http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/302823#comment-302823.  Other website articles seem to say it helps gut 'flora' but remarks are vague and as we all know, "actual mileage may vary".  This is a murky field in general [supplements vs. food sources, freshness, etc.].

 

 
Antilope's picture
Antilope

Sourdough starter that I made from several types of wheat flour (bread, ap, whole wheat & rye) and pineapple juice.  NO baker's yeast was used.

I used the bread machine to knead the dough. Then I unplugged the bread machine and let the dough rise for 8 or 12 hours. When the sourdough had risen enough, I ran a manual bake cycle on the bread machine. This was all done in the bread machine with real sourdough (once again, no baker's yeast was used).

With the Zo, You can do all of the above, plus, you can bake the sourdough in a real loaf pan (9x5-in). 

marinus's picture
marinus

  

Thank you both for your helpful remarks.

I gather that there is no particular reason to buy the 'Zo.  That if i'm going to use a machine for sourdough it could be any brand. 

This being so, can you steer me to/away from any particular brands or types of machine?  I'll certainly be looking at a much cheaper one [my only reason to consider the Zo' was its special sourdough feature, which i gather is unspecial].

My second question is, can anybody supply a link to a simple how-to-make-sourdough starter article?   While i've made bread before, i've never made sourdough, so i'm a complete drooling noob.

 

What did the sadist do to the masochist?  Nothing!

 
proth5's picture
proth5

The Zo is a great little machine and if you do like using a bread machine the features that distinguish it are the abilty to do "cakes" and the custom programable cycles. I did mention the Breville which would probably have won my dollars had it been on the market when I bought the Zo.

For less expensive options some posters on these pages enthuse over the many barely used bread machines that can be found in local charity resale shops. I have seen nary a one, so I don't know about that, but I really don't have first hand knowledge of any other machine than the Zo. There are many web sites devoted to bread machine reviews so you can probably use your favorite search engine to find them.

As for creating a starter, there are as many methods as the day is long - each of them "the best and easiest." You might wish to search on these pages for "Debra Wink pineapple juice" or something similar. This method (as with all methods) will stir controversy, but Debra is serious about her work with sourdough and created a method to help new sourdough enthusiasts who were having issues getting a starter going.  I would try to link to it, but I'mwriting this on my tablet and I have not yet advanced in skill on the thing to do that.

Hope this helps

Antilope's picture
Antilope

 I baked sourdough in the bread machine for two reasons. First, it was hot summer and I didn't want to heat up the house. Second, I wanted a sandwich loaf of sourdough.

But, I agree, sourdough baked in a real oven and not in a pan makes the best crust.

Any bread machine with separate DOUGH and BAKE  cycles can be used to make real sourdough, you just unplug it for the long rise cycle. But even though conventional methods of sourdough preparation are superior, it's interesting and even fun to play with the bread machine method. 

For creating a sourdough starter, do a Google search for the Pineapple Juice Sourdough Starter method by Debra Wink. It's one of the best methods to get a sourdough starter going. Using pineapple juice in the early stages of creating a starter creates a more acid environment than water does. The slightly acid environment discourages the growth of unwanted bacteria in the young sourdough starter until it gets established. I didn't buy pineapple juice, I just used juice drained from a can of pineapples, packed in their own juice, that I had in the pantry.

When I used the pineapple juice method of creating a sourdough starter I used 4 kinds of flour to increase the chances of capturing a successful sourdough culture. I used bread, all-purpose, whole wheat and rye flour, all purchased from the local supermarket. I only used a tablespoon of each flour to begin. Make sure to use unbleached flour, as chemicals used to bleach flour can kill or damage the sourdough cultures that you are trying to capture.

proth5's picture
proth5

I will also add that I have carefully studied the Zo method of making "sourdough" and although Ican not have claimed to have actually done it, it is not real sourdough and although "easy" it is not something I would reccomend. I'm sure it adds a certain tangy flavor to th bread, but using commercial yeast and feeding it with sugar is too far a variation for me. 

I, too, have used real sourdough in the Zo without needing the sourdough cycle.

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Pineapple juice in sourdough starter is a solution to a non-problem.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

why would a microbiologist (Debra Wink) develop and publicize a solution to a non-problem? Like Judge Judy says, "If it doesn't make sense, it's not true".

mariana's picture
mariana

Hi Marinus, 

I have Zojirushi Virtuoso and it bakes fantastic sourdough, both soft and crusty, whichever kind you wish. It also has a setting for the sourdough starter initiation. It will mix and warm up the mixture of water, flour and yeast for the starter to a proper temperature and keep it for 2 hours, then shuts off . The rest of the time the starter will sit at  room temperature, preferably around 18C-20C, until it is ready. 

Baker's yeast is initially added to feed the lactobacilli in the baby starter, they are a source of nitrogen for the lactic bacteria. Baker's yeast will also lower the pH of baby starter to the safe zone, it acidifies the batter, so that no harmful microbes would develop in it. When the starter is ready, there will be no original baker yeast cells left. They will die out and be digested by the bacteria and wild yeast from the flour. 

When you are ready to bake bread you will make it on the Regular Basic setting, by adding to the ripe starter the remainder of dough ingredients and letting the machine mix the dough, proof it and bake it for you. 

Obviously, you don't need the machine to make a stater using Zojirushi protocol for it or bake bread in the machine once you have a ready to use sourdough starter. Or you can use Zo. It is up to you and your preferences. I like my bread machine(s) from Zo. It is amazing, the quality of bread that they make. 

Probiotics are living bacteria. In the bread, sourdough, or yeasted, or plain, there are no living bacteria left after baking. There might be some spores of harmful bacteria (they cause rope bread disease) surviving the heat of baking, but nothing healthy. Bread is a sterile product at the end of the baking. 

I have initiated development of the sourdough starter in my Zojirushi Virtuoso Bread Machine today using Zojirushi process, their formula from the bread machine manual. The starter should be ready in a week or so. I will report the progress and the results of the test bake. If you are interested, the recipe for the sourdough starter in bread machine and the setup is described here

best wishes, 

mariana

Antilope's picture
Antilope

about 205F or 210F (96C - 99C) even in a 500F (260C) oven. Not enough to kill spores, etc. That's why there are pressure canners and autoclaves.

mariana's picture
mariana

Yes. That is correct, Antilope! : )

Probiotics are very heat sensitive and acid sensitive. They are mostly mesofilic bacteria, thrive in the human gut at 37C. That is why when they are sold as a supplements, they are protected, encapsulated and now even sporulated, to protect them from the harsh environment of acidity in the stomach. So that they could reach the gut intact.

In the bakery products they are usually added after baking, in snack bars and filled snack crackers ( as in snack cracker sandwiches). 

http://www.bakingbusiness.com/News/News%20Home/Features/2013/3/Delivering%20probiotics%20part%203.aspx

In ripe sourdough and sourdough bread there is a lot of acid, their acidity is so high (pH3.9-4.0) that the bacterial spores cannot develop after baking and the probiotic bacteria itself stops reproducing long before the sourdough is baked into a loaf.  That is one reason why sourdough bread keeps so well and doest liquefy with time, due to the living probiotic bacteria inside it digesting it : ) 

thegrindre's picture
thegrindre

I bought the cheapest machine I could find, (Hamilton Beach for $35), cuz I never intended to bake in it. I let it do all the mixing and kneading for me on the Dough Cycle then I take the dough out to shape and bake.

Although, with sourdough, there isn't much rising in the machine but the bread is fantastic once shaped then baked in the regular oven.

Greatest thing since sliced bread, IMO.

Rick

mixinator's picture
mixinator

why would a microbiologist (Debra Wink) develop and publicize a solution to a non-problem?

If there's a problem it's that amateur bakers would try to make starter, leuconostocs would appear and the amateur baker would think something had gone awry, dump the starter and abandon the project.

Generations of sourdough bakers going back for centuries have made starters with no pineapple juice, no microscopes, no pH paper, and have turned out lovely bread. When you begin a starter the leucs appear after a day or two, emitting their foul odor, then go away just as surely as they appeared, leaving perfectly good starter. No problem there.

proth5's picture
proth5

I'm going to stick up for someone I know and respect. Although I did acknowledge that my mentioning this method would entail controversy.

True, sourdough starters are made by many bakers both professional and amateur without a trace of anything but flour and water. We all know this.

Sometimes, though, for whatever reason, a baker (and it usually is a home baker), has trouble getting a starter going. Debra was asked to look into these difficulties and develop a method that, oh, perhaps contained a crutch, to help. And it does help some people who have had trouble in the past.

Is it the only way? No. But it is a way.

Since the world of sourdough (especially on the internet) is rife with "folklore", when asked to point to a method on the internet, this is one that can be said to be reliable. I use the standard flour and water technique myself and have always had success.

But you don't need to take such umbrage. Debra did the work in good faith, found some success, and helped a lot of folks with it. If you don't like the method, don't use it, but don't be so harsh in your judgement of it. Others have been this way before you and it usually comes to naught.

Peace.

Pat

mixinator's picture
mixinator

I have Zojirushi Virtuoso and it bakes fantastic sourdough, both soft and crusty, whichever kind you wish.

Do you only get a crisp crust on the top, the part that isn't in contact with the walls of the baking pan?

mariana's picture
mariana

Mixinator, 

the crust is either crispy or soft all over. It depends on the bread formula.

Lean bread dough will give crisp crust to the baked loaf, enriched dough will give very soft crust all over. 

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Relax, Pat.

All I did was to characterize leucs in sourdough starter as a non-problem. No need to spin it as a personal attack.

proth5's picture
proth5

Perhaps it read a little harsher than you meant it. I try to be generous in my readings, but the sheer amount of emotion that sourdough raises is quite - shall we say - interesting.

And you are right that they are a non problem.

I'm relaxed.

Peace. 

 

Antilope's picture
Antilope

that deny the moon landing. Why should I care what they believe? Meh.