The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Chemistry

  • Pin It
ron45's picture
ron45

Bread Chemistry

Is it redundant to use butter milk in a sour dough recipe?

A ) Could that be over doing the sour?

B ) Because the buttermilk acidity is sort of a dough conditioner, does the sourdough culture do that too in addition to leavening the bread?

C ) In 100% Whole grain bread might all the above be a good thing?

Is it better to put a higher percentage of starter in whole grain bread. Whole Grain....for me, that means no white flour.

If so, how much more? and thank you for your time.

Ron

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Ron,

I'm no expert on buttermilk. I've never used it in bread. However, as I was reading PR's Whole Grain Breads, the use of buttermilk was mentioned as a substitute for the acidity provided by a sourdough starter.

I saw two methods used. In one case he describes using buttermilk to make the soaker. In another place he mentions making a biga (yeasted preferment) with buttermilk instead of water and using it in place of the sourdough starter. In either case it would have been around 200g of buttermilk used in a total of about 500g of flour in the recipe.

Since buttermilk or yogurt are both fermented products like a sourdough starter, they have acids resulting from the fermenation that can provide a chemical function (control of enzyme activity) as well an acidic flavor contribution similar to a sourdough starter.

Bill

ron45's picture
ron45

Sounds like it would be redundant to use both. Thanks for the input.

Ron

leemid's picture
leemid

The buttermilk is not just for sourness, or just for flavor, either. The dairy contributes to tenderness, and of course enriches the bread. There is not a lot of fat left in real buttermilk, that which is left over after making butter, which is not what one buys at the store for buttermilk. But if there is appreciable fat in the store-bought version, it would soften the crumb and tend to inhibit gluten development.

Just jotting notes...

Lee 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Ron,

You could use milk instead of yogurt of buttermilk along with sourdough, according to the same WGB discussions I was mentioning above. Milk would have the softening effect on the crumb mentioned by Leemid. The acids would be produced by the sourdough fermentation instead of contributed by fermented dairy products such as buttermilk or yogurt.

Bill