The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tomato Juice Affecting Fermentation/Proofing.

iPat's picture
iPat

Tomato Juice Affecting Fermentation/Proofing.

Hello,

 

    I came across a Japanese sandwich bread recipe that uses tomato juice in place of water. The formula is pretty typical except the fact that tomato juice is the only liquid used.

 

    When I made it, the fermentation (first rise) took 3 hours instead of the typical 2, and it also took 3 hours to proof instead of the usual 1. And even after all that time, the finished loaf wasn't particularly voluminous compared to the typical sandwich bread.

 

    How exactly is the tomato juice affecting the rises of the dough?

 

    The finished bread doesn't taste particularly sour (neither is the juice itself) and there's only an extra 0.25 gram of sodium in the juice. So if it's not the acidity or the salt, what is it, then, that prevented my dough from rising?

 

    I've made the recipe twice to make sure that I didn't just screw up something during my first attempt. Both times, the dough took forever to rise. Good thing this bread tastes fantastic, so at least it's worth the wait.

 

    The dough has 8% sugar, 2% salt, 1.2% yeast, and 72% juice. The dough was fermented/proofed @ 81°F (27°C) with 80% humidity.

 

Thank You.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I am curious to hear the answers to your question but I was also curious if the dough felt any different than dough usually does at 72% hydration. Was it loose? Sticky? Tacky? Extendable? Tight? What type of flour was used? Was this a flour you used before and successfully? Is commercial yeast used or a natural levain?

I am really reaching but there is nothing that is blatantly obvious to me. Salt at 2% is within norms but high for my preference.The only idea I have would be to make a loaf-using the same recipe- but using water to see if it is the tomato component that affects the loaf.

iPat's picture
iPat

I've successfully made an almost identical dough (10% sugar, 1.5% salt, 1.2% yeast, and 72% water.) from the same Japanese book using the same flour (Neapolitan OO pizza flour). I used osmotolerant instant yeast (SAF).

The dough did feel super sticky compared to the comparable one. I had to wet my hands when shaping it. Other characteristics were similar. Even the finished crumb looked similar.

I'm stumped just like you because I've also made another similar bread using all milk, and I had no problem with that. So I'm pretty sure the tomato juice is somehow the culprit.

NeilM's picture
NeilM

It might be the type of Acid the Tomatoes are, you could try another batch but this time put some baking soda in the juice first to reduce the acid level.

iPat's picture
iPat

What would considered to be "some"?

NeilM's picture
NeilM

Trial and error, maybe 1/4tsp to 1L.

I noticed in the "Lessons" section it was mentioned that "Too much acid in your loaf can actually cause the yeast to die off."

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

I've used less than 1/8th teaspoon to tame the acidity of a whole pot of spaghetti sauce.  If you get too much in there, all you'll taste is baking soda, which is pretty nasty.

bottleny's picture
bottleny

My guess is still on the salt content in tomato juice.

You said: " there's only an extra 0.25 gram of sodium in the juice"

Sodium is part of salt. You need to convert sodium into salt. For 0.25g sodium, it's 0.64g salt.

However, Japanese branded tomato juice has no sugar and salt added. The taste is very different from, say, American one.

iPat's picture
iPat

I didn't know there's a way to convert sodium to salt. I had always thought they are the same thing. That's very cool to know. Thank you.

 

Anyway, after taking all the salts into consideration (the recipe also asks for salted butter), the total salt content is still only at 2.5%. That's nothing, right?

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

1.2% is a bit on the low side, but works well for long fermentations, which is what you're experiencing.  You could try going up to 2% to possibly speed things up a bit.

iPat's picture
iPat

Thanks.