The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Shameless Plug: Starterless Sour Bread

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Shameless Plug: Starterless Sour Bread

In case you missed my prior posts: if you're tired of gooey starters that die in the refrigerator, fail to raise your loaves, get moldy or generally don't do what they're supposed to, give this a try.

This starterless sour bread formula was developed by the USDA Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, PA. It was developed several years after the landmark Kline & Sugihara study at the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California which identified the bacteria found in San Francisco sourdough.

The recipe does not use a traditional starter or sourdough culture. In addition to the standard sourdough ingredients (flour, water and salt) it uses instant dry yeast, vinegar and a source of acid whey such as plain yogurt (strain the yogurt through a strainer into a collection vessel). Caution: avoid Greek yogurt which has had the whey removed.

If it's sour you're looking for, here it is. I have found this recipe to be a very authentic replica of old-school San Francisco sourdough.

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/cd/3b/0d/f2eb7c00201294/US3826850.pdf

 The patent contains baker's percentages. Send me a private message if you would like a link to my blog page which elaborates on the patent.

msneuropil's picture
msneuropil

My microbiology professor way back then... actually brought this up in one of our semesters that was covering food biology.  We had a lot of fun with it.  It is an interesting way to get folks to study bacteria.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

I have been making my own "sour" dough using the contents of "probiotic" capsules that can be purchased at any health food outlet or drug store. 

After many years of experimentation to get it right I have finally got it down to a science and it works every time.  The probiotics ferment the dough creating Lactic Acid which offers the "sour" with the added benefits of the fermentation process. ( I teach fermentation of foods).

I call this bread Bacillus Ambrosia and its a 2 step process. You can use a Yogurt maker to ferment a portion of the dough (1st phase) or leave it for a much longer period at room temperature. 

 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Roger -

If you make the USDA starterless recipe I'd be interested in hearing what you think.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

I probably wont.  I think I have my own process down pat and enjoy it.  I don't know anything about that USDA process. 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Roger -

Perhaps you could do a blog page on Bacillus Ambrosia and share it with everybody?

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

doughooker: I would love to share it with everybody but I'm 72 years young and a computer moron.   I need to know how to attach the recipe to this page.  If not, I'll write it out 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Roger, you could take an image with your phone and attach that to the post. Or if you have the formula in Word or another document app you should be able to copy and paste.

Dan

David R's picture
David R

I don't understand this dedicated and long-lasting willingness to continue to work extra hard, all in order to avoid getting involved with a process that isn't nearly as hard as the one you're working on.

If you want an easier process, why not just buy some yeast and be done with it?

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

David: It isn't work for me.  Its a great pleasure to make bread.  Your bread will only be as good as what you yourself put into it.  Its an art to make my style of bread and very relaxing with the product. I do in fact use yeast.  

doughooker's picture
doughooker

"If you want an easier process"

No, I don't want an easier process. I want to replicate the old-school sourdoughs I grew up with on the S.F. peninsula.

Straining the whey out of yogurt is hardly a laborious task, no more so than mixing up flour and water or (gack) pineapple juice and waiting a week. Measuring a couple of ingredients is all part of baking and cooking.

When I've made sourdough using starters the flavor was always too mild, nothing like the old-school bread I'm used to.

I've had starters that rose a loaf but imparted no flavor. I've had starters go moldy and have sometimes had to rebuild a starter from scratch — not my idea of easy. With this method I get more uniform results without a doubt.

When I used a starter I would proof the starter for 8 hours and the dough for 8 hours. 16 hours of proofing time and it still wasn't sour enough.

If all you want is convenience you can buy your bread off the supermarket shelf.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

I agree with the "not enough sour" so that is why I developed my own "sour" dough.  I've been told that the term "sour" doesn't necessarily pertain to sour dough bread but rather, the "method".  There has never been enough sour for my liking in any "real" sour dough bread.

One must remember that making sour dough from scratch is a time honoured thing.  People want to replicate the way this bread was made by our pioneers who could not just simply go to the store to buy yeast. They had to develop their own yeast.  But today, we have yeast strains that are specific for bread and they produce a very good quality loaf. 

I teach fermentation of foods and when one eventually gets the sour dough going from scratch, it isn't long before the dominant organism which is yeast, pushes out most of the lactic acids producing bacteria.  There will always be lactic acid producing bacteria in the dough but the yeast usually wins out. The yeast is larger, produces faster and the available food supply is then depleted for the bacteria. This is why the sour is missing.

We now have good quality yeast and bottled lactic acid producing bacteria (probiotics).  Why not take advantage of this and create your own special sour dough that actually is sour?   

I will try to find a way "attach" the recipe for my method.    

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Roger, if you click my profile icon (DanAyo) you will find a link that says, “Send Private Message”. Click it and send me a private message with your email address. This is private and not available to the public. Include your email address and I’ll contact using mine. If you send me the file, I can post it to DropBox and make it available via web link.

I’d really like to see your formula and method. I am curious...

Danny

By the way. A more than a few of us have developed formulas and methods that produce very “sour tasting” sourdough. It is not an easy process, but it is doable using extended fermentation, temperature (sometimes various whole grains) and starters that cater to sour.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

thanks Dan.  I'll give it a go.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

OK. I tried clicking the icon but nothing comes up?  I tried creating a blog but it won't accept my recipe.  I definitely am a computer moron.  I'm going to write it out on Dan's page

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Roger, you probably don’t have site permissions to use various options on the site. If you want I can have the Site Admin (Floyd) set them up for you. The permissions will allow you to setup a profile with Private Messaging, up load images and other things. 

Let me know if you want this.

With all of the constant SPAM, neither of us want our emails available to the public.

Danny

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

Thanks Danny.  You're probably correct since I'm new here.  I would like that very much.  

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

It is best to use a stand up mixer like KitchenAid that I have.  After years of making "wet" doughs like Ciabatta etc.  there is very little hand contact with this method.  I use a weigh scale for all of my bread making with graduated cylinders for precise water volumes.

Total flour weight 440gm.  317ml water (72% hydration). 1 1/2 tsp salt. I grind the "coarse salt" in a mortar pestle.   I use "coarse pickling salt" because there are no other ingredients.  Even Kosher salt has added ingredients. Contents of 2 probiotic capsules. 

Mix half of the flour, 220gm and all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and punch a small hole in the plastic to allow gas release.  Let this sit for 24 hours in a warm place. For best results, use a yogurt maker which will only require 12 hours.  It is important to maintain the ferment at least 21C.  Any lower, the bacteria will not work "efficiently".  There are cheap yogurt makers available that resemble a large plastic thermos or you can get the electric type that regulates the heat.     

2nd phase: Dissolve 2 tsp dry yeast in 65ml (4 1/2 tbls) warm water.  Pour the "fermented" dough into the mixer.  Pouring the fermented dough into the mixer first, allows for easier mixing.  Add the remainder of the flour 220gm and the activated yeast and mix/knead until smooth.  A higher speed on the mixer will be required (7 or 8). You may want to hang on to it so that it doesn't walk across the counter.  I've done this hundreds of times without a problem.

After kneading, use a bread scrapper to pour the dough into a bowl for the 1st rise. Cover with plastic wrap, punch a small hole and allow 1 hour or until doubled.  I use a Dutch Oven but it is not necessary but recommended.  Heat the oven to 450F with the Dutch Oven inside.

After the 1st rise and the oven is up to temp, take the curved bread scrapper and work the dough in a circular motion pushing and pulling to release the gas (Same as punch down). A second rise is not required. Remove the Dutch Oven from the oven and using the scraper, pour the dough directly into the Dutch Oven.

Bake 20 minutes with the lid on and 35-40 minutes with the lid off   

The results will be a very different loaf of bread that I'm sure you will enjoy. It will have the long sought after sour flavour with the added benefits of flavours derived from fermentation.

Enjoy

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Is 21C ideal or should I set my proofer warmer since that option is available to me?

Any particular probiotic and which weight capsule do you recommend?

Your reference to pickling salt is interesting. I have a mortar and pestle. Do you see any noticeable difference using this?

Danny

...there aren’t many things (bread wise) I won’t try once

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

21C is the absolute minimum and is not recommended. Closer to 30-35C is best.  There are many probiotics available and choosing the more reliable brand is recommended.  I use Webber Naturals but there are plenty of quality producers.

The product should contain at least 4 types of Lactobacillus with one Bifidobacterium Longum.  These bacteria are Lactic acid producing and are commonly referred to as LAB.   There are many brands out there with added strains but this is all you need.  

These bacteria were designed for flour but they will start to consume the available sugars in the flour, producing Lactic Acid which offers the "sour".  Having all of those strains will have a better chance for efficiency.   

The recipe that I gave has enough water in the flour to allow the bacteria to work and the salt is also a benefit for the bacteria.  The capsules that I have contain 6 billion cells in each capsule but it is not essential. As long as you have a good quality probiotic, it will work.

I use "pickling Salt".  Read the label; "SALT". nothing else and I always use mortar & pestle to finely grind the salt  before adding to my flour.  It helps to dissolve it evenly avoiding large doses of salt in areas. Never use Table salt.

Some Kosher salt contains  Yellow Prussiate and here is why I don't use it

  Sodium ferrocyanide is the sodium salt of the coordination compound of formula [Fe(CN)6]4−. In its hydrous form, Na4Fe(CN)6 · 10H2O (sodium ferrocyanide decahydrate), it is sometimes known as yellow prussiate of soda. It is a yellow crystalline solid that is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol. The yellow color is the color of ferrocyanide anion. Despite the presence of the cyanide ligands, sodium ferrocyanide has low toxicity (acceptable daily intake 0–0.025 mg/kg body weight[2]). The ferrocyanides are less toxic than many salts of cyanide, because they tend not to release free cyanide.[3] However, like all ferrocyanide salt solutions, addition of an acid can result in the production of hydrogen cyanide gas, which is toxic.

Uses

Sodium ferrocyanide is a chemical additive known as E number E535 in the EU. It is added to road and food grade salt as an anticaking agent.[2] When combined with iron, it converts to a deep blue pigment called Prussian blue.[4] It is used as a stabilizer for the coating on welding rods. In the petroleum industry, it is used for removal of mercaptans.

In the EU, ferrocyanides (E 535–538) were, as of 2018, solely authorised in two food categories as salt substitutes. Kidneys are the organ for ferrocyanide toxicity.[5]

 

Good luck with this and please in touch.  Fermentation is my joy.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

"These bacteria were NOT designed for flour"

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Roger, I contacted Floyd about resetting your permissions. You will be happy to know that once they are established you will also be able to edit your post.

UPDATE: Floyd just updated your permissions.

Danny

OH! I have Malden’s Sea Salt. I think it is pure, but to be sure my wife is picking up some pickling salt.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

Thanks for all your assistance Danny.  Let me know how it turns out.  There is always room for improvement.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert
Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Duplicate - deleted

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Roger, please let me know the exact Webber probiotics that you use. Here is an Amazon link to the Webber Natural probiotics. There are quite a few. And the mg vary.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=probiotics+webber&crid=3HVHR3ATD8FH0&sprefix=Probiotics+web%2Caps%2C172&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_14

Your bread and crumb look very good.

Danny

doughooker's picture
doughooker

I look forward to a discussion of Roger's recipe but proper netiquette would dictate starting a new thread to discuss it rather than threadjacking someone else's thread.

Even better if Roger starts his own blog page which is easy to do. That way his posts won't get lost as new ones come in and it will be easier to find.

You should know better, Danny.

Too late now.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sorry about that Chris :-(. 

Roger, why don’t you publish a new topic  or start a blog. 

I plan to bake your bread once I have all of the ingredients and time.

Danny

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

Sorry about that guys.  I have no idea how to start a blog.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

roger

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Roger, use the link that DoughHooker wrote. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog

Then near the top click, “Create a new blog entry”. It is that easy.

Dan

doughooker's picture
doughooker

"I agree with the 'not enough sour' so that is why I developed my own 'sour' dough.  I've been told that the term 'sour' doesn't necessarily pertain to sour dough bread but rather, the 'method'.  There has never been enough sour for my liking in any 'real' sour dough bread."

Have you ever had real S.F. sourdough in San Francisco? Unfortunately it is now extinct and has been since around the 1980s.

The last time I had Boudin it had a strong vinegar flavor and aroma, which leads me to wonder what they're doing behind the scenes at the Boudin bakery to make it sour. All they have to do is fool the tourists on fisherman's wharf. As the patent document notes, sourdough baking is very time-inefficient, so one wonders if they have taken steps to improve the efficiency and shorten the proofing time.

Acme has an authentic flavor but is quite mild.

"making sour dough from scratch is a time honoured thing.  People want to replicate the way this bread was made by our pioneers who could not just simply go to the store to buy yeast. They had to develop their own yeast." Try as I might I could never get my starter-made loaves as sour as I remember the old SFSD. The starterless method from the patent hits the bullseye. I can only assume that the USDA scientists in Wyndmoor set out to duplicate the acidity levels documented by Kline & Sugihara in their USDA study just a few years prior. The result was a product authentic in flavor and texture which could be made in a fraction of the time.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

I have indeed been to SF and purchased their sour dough.  I don't think they are cutting corners.  The problem sour dough ferments have is: The many living cultures within the dough are all competing for the available food.

At first all thrive and the dough comes out as expected.  Eventually, one species dominates and that will probably be the yeast.  You then have a rising dough yeast based with very little, if any Lactic Acid Bacteria.

roger 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

"I have indeed been to SF and purchased their sour dough."

When were you there and from which bakery did you buy your bread?

Back in the day there were about a half dozen bakeries doing primarily sourdough, so it makes a difference whether you were there in the recent or distant past. There are other neighborhood bakeries which are too small to show up on anybody's radar screen.

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

I've been to Boudin bakery many times and the last visit was approximately 10 years ago. I didn't think the sour dough that I purchased was special other than the fact of visiting this famous bakery.  

doughooker's picture
doughooker

 Or start a blog and paste or type it in.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Unpasteurized vinegar is now widely available in the U.S., and should work well with the starterless method. I have documentation of a "preparatory sour" from the 1930's for rye bread that calls for unpasteurized cider. I have used unpasteurized vinegar in a preparatory sour on several occasions with good results.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Makes a lot of sense Bob. Unpasteurized with the Mother. A live culture. I tried vinegar, but used white. I would imagine it had no living bacteria since it was heated and strained. Is this correct?

David R's picture
David R

Not just strained, but distilled. Which either "cleans up" and purifies the vinegar, OR makes it nothing but a solution of acetic acid in water, not vinegar at all - depending on your attitude.

doughooker's picture
doughooker

"Unpasteurized vinegar is now widely available in the U.S., and should work well with the starterless method."

I am looking at my bottle of Heinz Distilled White Vinegar and there is no mention on the label of it being pasteurized.

I'm not aware that they ever pasteurized white vinegar.

David R's picture
David R

I'm not 100% certain, but I believe distilled vinegar "doesn't count" in this context - I think the pasteurization part of the discussion refers only to that type of vinegar that still looks and smells exactly like wine or cider that has "gone bad".

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Whole Foods Market carries Bragg Live Foods version of unpasteurized cider vinegar.

https://www.bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html

doughooker's picture
doughooker

"Whole Foods Market carries Bragg Live Foods version of unpasteurized cider vinegar."

Have you tried this in the USDA recipe? If so does it make better bread?

David R's picture
David R

For a complete trial, you'd need three batches I think:

  • Using "distilled vinegar" [USA name] or "spirit vinegar" [UK name] (and I was wrong, it's produced by fermenting pre-distilled ethanol, the ethanol itself coming from whatever source is cheapest for the vinegar producer to obtain)
  • Using pasteurized but unfiltered vinegar
  • Using unpasteurized (obviously also unfiltered) vinegar

... and see if the bread turns out any differently.