The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wheat-Based CLAS Experiment

SeasideJess's picture

Wheat-Based CLAS Experiment

Today I started an experiment to see if I can make a wheat-based (or mixed wheat and rye) version of Concentrated Lactic Acid Sourdough (CLAS). I wanted to see if I could get the flavor and acidification benefits of the CLAS without using as much rye flour in the mix.

My reasoning is that rye makes the dough more difficult to handle, and the 100% whole wheat breads I make are already quite challenging for me. Another way to say it is I wanted to be able to add more CLAS without adding (as much) more rye.

Also, I just thought it would be interesting to see if it works.

If anyone is interested I can post my procedure for following the method that Andrey (AKA) Rus Brot published for starting a CLAS from scratch. Or you can just take a look at his blog here:

My impression is that if you have access to organic whole-grain rye flour and a way to tightly regulate the fermentation temperature, your odds of success are very high. I found it to be straightforward.

Once you have an established CLAS ferment/starter, you can add it to bread. Like any starter it is kept alive by refreshment, that is by removing some of the ferment and adding new flour and water. Note that CLAS is maintained at 190% hydration.

The standard formula for 90% CLAS refreshment is:

  • 33g CLAS
  • 190 ml Water @ 113°F (45C) (65% of 290)
  • 100g organic whole grain rye flour (35% of 290)

This 1:9 refreshment is the smallest amount of CLAS to new feedstock that Andrey recommends.

The water, flour, and CLAS starter are mixed thoroughly, placed in a loosely lidded container, and held at lactobacillus fermentation temperature (105°F ± 35°F) for 12 hours. I use an Instant Pot on Yogt setting.

For this experiment I used a 75% (1:3)  refreshment:

  • 110 grams CLAS
  • 214 grams H2O
  • 116 grams flour

I made two batches. One with coarsely ground rye flour (the regular/control batch) and one with coarsely ground hard red winter wheat (the experimental batch.) I put them into wide-mouth 1-pint mason jars, loosely lidded, and placed them both into the Instant Pot on Yogt setting for a 12 hour ferment. tomorrow I'll check them out and see if the wheat one gets as sour as the rye, and how the flavors compare. My established rye CLAS ferment smells and tastes clean, fresh and tart. It is similar to a sour apple flavor with emphasis on the sour rather than the apple.