The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using Both Water Kefir and Milk kefir for Sourdough Starter

breadmaking's picture
breadmaking

Using Both Water Kefir and Milk kefir for Sourdough Starter

Hi Fresh Loaf members i was wondering if one can use water kefir and milk kefir added together to make a gluten free starter vegan

I use plant based milk - like coconut milk to make my milk kefir. When i use this to make my sourdough with GF flour like sorghum or millet flour, there are not too many bubbles.  Is it possible to add some water kefir to help make the SD more bubbly?

Any suggestions would be appreciated - thank you

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I don't think I can help you, but what is water kefir? Do you add kefir grains to water? Nothing will ferment then...

breadmaking's picture
breadmaking

yes we add kefir grains to water and add sugar to the water then use the kefir water to the flour 

Saltfish's picture
Saltfish

It's not gluten free but if you start with milk kefir in the first feed, after you have fed it flour for a week or so, it will be vegan, as there will surely be no dairy left, just the bacteria from the kefir. I started my starter like this and have never needed to add more kefir after the intial stage, and it's been very active and bubbly from day 2 right up to now (3 months). As well as kefir,I started with some peel from fallen apples which were just starting to ferment, and feed with organic wholemeal rye flour.

breadmaking's picture
breadmaking

thank you saltfish do you have a recipe you dont mind sharing please 

Saltfish's picture
Saltfish

Ok - I just mixed 50g organic wholemeal rye flour with 50 ml kefir (I used Biotiful drinking kefir - a bottled brand available widely here in the UK) - I think I may have added a little water too, as it was quite thick. I added 3 small pieces of peeled apple skin from apples that had fallen in the garden and were starting to go mouldy. I left this for 2 days at room temp (about 22c here in summer) . Then on day 3 when it was bubbly and smelling of alcohol and yeast, I removed the peel and started feeding equal parts of tapwater which had been left standing overnight, with equal parts rye flour - 50g flour 50 ml water. 

Just continue feeding like this every day, no need for more kefir. I guess you could try using organic buckwheat flour instead of rye - then it would be vegan and gluten free. 

This is one of my latest loaves using this starter:

breadmaking's picture
breadmaking

Thank you very much Saltfish

appreciate sharing with us your recipe

Your bread looks very nice - will try it with buckwheat

thank you again

Saltfish's picture
Saltfish

Good luck! I’m not an experienced baker like some of the people on this forum -  I’ve only just started - so you might want to wait for their advice about gluten-free bread.

It’s my understanding that you need the gluten for the structure of those open crumb, well-sprung type breads. If you’re using gluten-free flour I don’t know what kind of results you could get...