The Fresh Loaf

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Help substituting yoghurt in Dan Lepard's leaven recipe

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Bettina Berg's picture
Bettina Berg

Help substituting yoghurt in Dan Lepard's leaven recipe

Hi. I've just purchased Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf and am dying to try his leaven recipe. However he uses yoghurt and we can't have dairy in my house (alas), so I was wondering if anyone could recommend a substitution.

Also, a lot of his recipes include milk or buttermilk as well as butter. Any suggestions how to handle this?

Thanks!

Bettina

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Soy is listed as a substitution for dairy according to several vegan/health sites. Health food stores would carry soy yogurt and may be able to suggest nondairy substitutions for milk and buttermilk.

Lepard notes that fermentation will occur with just the flour and water (p 25) so you could just omit the yogurt and maybe add a bit of water.

Handmade Bread was a Christmas gift, so I made Lepard's leaven and the white leaven bread. I've baked better loaves that didn't require being chained to a timer as his recipe does.

There are some lovely breads pictured and some interesting recipes. The cucumber pickle juice rye loaf is one I hope to try.

You should visit his forum so you can note the errors in the text: http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=112

 

danlepard's picture
danlepard

Hi Bettina (and Lindy)

 

The use of yoghurt in the leaven bread just slightly acidifies the process in the beginning and helps to keep it clean and free of those bacteria that can turn the starter smelly and bad. The fermentation will still kick in without it, even more so if you can use flour milled from the wholegrain, and organic even better. Do replace all of the dairy with vegan substitutes, it will work fine. My intention with those recipes was to show you what many cooks on farms do when they have extra produce - milk, cream, butter, even animal fat - and don't want to waste it. But if they don't have it, of course, they still make bread but don't use it. For many of the small home bakers shown there isn't a local supermarket to drive to so they make do with what they have.

 

I'm sorry to read that you felt chained to the times in the book, Lindy. The times in my book, and I guess all cookery books, are meant as a guide rather than a strict rule. As temperatures and ingredients vary so must times so, if you persevere with the book, be flexible with the schedule suggested to suit your day.

 

regards

 

Dan

 
Bettina Berg's picture
Bettina Berg

Lindy (and Dan), Dan (and Lindy),

Thank you for your responses. I figured there was a good reason to use yoghurt and am glad I now know what it is. Alas I can't do soy either, my son's stomach (he's 11months old) can't handle it (he's also the dairy intolerant one, but hopefully that will change over time). So it closes a lot of doors, but I guess that forces me to be more creative (read: I'll stick to flour and water!).

Dan, I'm in the process of making your wheatgerm bread and the dough is very, very sticky and I didn't even use the orange juice because I didn't have any. Would you add flour in such a situation or just rely on the oil coated kneading surface to deal with this? I wonder if it has anything to do with the bloody active dry yeast us Americans are forced to use (my kingdom for some fresh yeast!) .

Best and thank you, Bettina

 

 

danlepard's picture
danlepard

Hi Bettina,

Yes do add more flour if that makes it easier, or hold back on the water next time to make it easier. But do aim to work towards keeping the dough as moist as it is in the recipe. Wholemeal breads, and those containing oats or wheatgerm, are best kept soft as the grains will swell during baking and steal moisture from the crumb. This is one of those doughs you could almost spoon into the tin. I make the dough very wet and use a scraper to help, and just let the oil on the surface stop the dough from sticking too much.

Dan

Bettina Berg's picture
Bettina Berg

Dan,

 

Hi. Thanks for your reply. I thought I had gotten it wrong when the dough turned out very wet, but if it is the way it should be, then I won't add flour. Thank you for your help. Best, Bettina 

cordel's picture
cordel

If it is just cow's milk that you can't use, there is goat's milk yoghurt, which I have succesfully been substituting, since I discovered my dairy allergy.

Bettina Berg's picture
Bettina Berg

Hi. I shall try this instead. Thank you very much. Best, Bettina

bakersLAME's picture
bakersLAME

Have never actually done this, but I've read recipes for starters that use orange juice/pineapple juice/lemon juice etc instead of yogurt. Seems like an invitation for a rotten mess to me, but might be worth a try.

Of course starters will start with just plain ol' flour and water, as was said above.

Bettina Berg's picture
Bettina Berg

Thank you for your reply. It might turn out to be surprisingly good, who's to say? I might try a starter with this but also make another starter with plain flour and water only, to be on the safe side... thank you. Best, Bettina

cordel's picture
cordel

Now all we need is some pictures of your final products. Oh, and I used the pineapple juice to begin my starter, and it worked first time, without a problem. If you go to Breadtopia, you will find a thread on Making your own sourdough starter. YOu only use the pineapple juice the first two days. Apparently it merely keeps some of the nastier bacteria under control, until the yeast can get a start.

bakerblauvelt's picture
bakerblauvelt

I'm looking for a formula that would highlight some fresh sheeps milk and/or cheese. If there are any suggestions out there I'd be happy to try some.