The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Advice on converting a yeast recipe to a sourdough + yeast recipe?

thursdaykay's picture
thursdaykay

Advice on converting a yeast recipe to a sourdough + yeast recipe?

Hello all!

I have a country milk loaf recipe that uses instant yeast. I tried converting it into a pure sourdough recipe (keeping the recipe's original hydration, just removing the instant yeast and adding about 20% in levain and compensating for the additional flour and water coming from the levain), but found that the sourdough changed the flavor and texture too much. The bread came out with a mild tang and a more open crumb. These aren't bad things in and of themselves, but I'd love to stay as true to the recipe's original flavor and texture as possible — milky, slightly sweet, and with a beautiful tight crumb.

Does anyone have a baker's percentage for using both sourdough and instant yeast in a recipe?

Ideally I'd love to have this loaf naturally leavened, but not to the point where the sourdough changes the flavor of the bread. I suspect 20% levain was too high for this goal. Could I reduce the percentage of my levain, and add just a little bit of instant yeast to help boost fermentation? Does anybody have a recommended bakers percentage for this?

Recipe is below in case that helps. Thank you!

 

Flour - 100%

Water - 37.5%

Milk - 29.38%

Olive oil - 9.38%

Salt - 2.25%

Yeast - 0.13%

phaz's picture
phaz

"Slightly sweet" - this is why I still use commercial yeast - some things just don't benefit from a sour/tangy dough. And this may be your biggest hurdle. Can you add some regular yeast, sure can. But then you wouldn't consider it 100% naturally leavened (I do this often, especially to make things fit a schedule). Texture is easy enough - add a little butter or olive oil and punch it down like a white bread loaf. I've added sugar to try to offset the tang - experimenting with sd pizza dough years ago and things just weren't right. Keep watching - I'm sure there'll be ideas and suggestions coming.

KeilidhC's picture
KeilidhC

Hi!

Baking soda will neutralise the acids in the sourdough, which should take away the tang and preserve the sweetness of the original recipe. The reaction between the baking soda and the acids will also produce carbon dioxide gas that will help the dough rise and (hopefully!) make the texture a bit lighter. Try mixing some baking soda into the dough before you shape it (1/2 to 1 teaspoon should be enough - too much baking soda will make the bread taste bitter) and let it proof for a bit. I don't know if you will still have to add instant yeast, but do some experimenting and see what works best to get the bread that you want! 

thursdaykay's picture
thursdaykay

Interesting... never heard of this before! Will try giving this a shot some time.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

My natural levain always makes a non-tangy loaf.

There are a lot of posts on how to obtain that sourdough tang. If I recall, a lot of it had to do with how the starter is maintained (it encourages lacto development) and also how long the dough is fermented.You can use the info to your advantage to do the opposite.  If you build a levain with a high yeast content (in the style of a panettone levain) and you do not use a long fermentation, then I predict your subsequent loaves will be non-tangy.

Or do a hybrid with both starter and commercial yeast.

 

thursdaykay's picture
thursdaykay

I had to google panettone levain, thank you for pointing me in the right direction! I think I'll have to experiment with using this style levain, if it works for a sweet bread like panettone it may work for my milk bread as well.

Regarding using a hybrid of sourdough and commercial yeast, do you know of any standard bakers percentages I can reference?

phaz's picture
phaz

I just had a thought. You might be interested in something like yeast water - basically just natural yeast fed with some kind of sugar instead of flour. Years ago I tried making a starter with black raspberries from the yard. It could raise the dead - and no sour as the lab concentration was very very low. And it rose dough so fast there was no time for fermenting - even less sour.

Here's a link with more info (just so happens I was in this thread about 3 years ago), and there's a couple links in there with even more info. Enjoy!

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/50385/yeast-water-can-i-use-raspberries

thursdaykay's picture
thursdaykay

Wow, this is amazing! I'm learning so much from this one thread. It sounds a little tricky but will give it a shot! Lots to experiment with.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I entered "convert a yeast recipe to sourdough" and got a list of hits here on TFL.