The Fresh Loaf

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A second dimension of flavor

gerryp123's picture

A second dimension of flavor

Baking 1kg sourdough boule (multi-grain and plain).  Good bake, some sour flavor comes through , but just a bit bland.  Would like to add another dimension of flavor.  Any harm in adding 1-2 tablespoons of honey?  Any need to recalculate recipe for this small addition to a large boule?

Danni3ll3's picture

And yes, you could add honey. I wouldn't worry about only 1-2 tablespoons of honey and having to recalculate the recipe for a 1 kg boule. Just put it in.

gerryp123's picture

Thanks for the input.

Added about 10g of fine sea-salt for my 1kg boule.  Total flour weight (APF + WWF + RF + Levain) is about 450g.  Rule of thumb is that salt should be about 2% of flour weight, but perhaps  I guess I should add just a bit more salt (without killing the yeast) for stronger flavor.

If I do add honey will this simply subtract from the sourness, or will it add another dimension of (sweet & sour) flavor.

What do you think ??

Jimboh's picture

I am not a bread expert, but I've been homebrewing for years. Yeast feeds on sugars to produce alcohol and CO2, the alcohol bakes out and leaves nice holes in the bread from the CO2 produced. So adding sugar (honey) doesn't sweeten the bread as much as you think. Much of the sugar is consumed by the yeast. Larger amounts are needed to give some residual flavor. But it will also give your yeast a lot more food to work with. I don't have enough experience from a bread standpoint to tell you how to adjust if you add lots of sugar to the dough. But I would guess you use less yeast, more salt, or simply understand that you have sped up the rising process.

Hermit's picture

Just one subtle refinement: honey (and also dissolved table sugar) contains both glucose and fructose. Yeast bacteria will feed on glucose readily but have a long "delayed reaction" before they start to consume fructose. They delayed reaction can easily be up to 20 hours.

Unless you are doing a super-long ferment (entirely possible with sourdough -- I don't know your recipe) much of the fructose will go undigested by the yeast. So the fructose will sweeten your bread by a little. Just be warned that you shouldn't add too much of those ingredients: the yeast will start to favour the raw glucose over the starch in the flour, and this will change the flavour of your sourdough to something more alcholic, resulting in a "sweet & sour & beer" taste.

Some people like this, but it isn't for everyone.

SheGar's picture
SheGar (not verified)

As an alternative, if you are interested... German's typically use a mix of fennel, coriander and caraway. If you grind it it's very subtle but adds dimension. I use 1 tbsp per 500g flour