Why did my Kombucha Bread fail?
I attempted a kombucha bread experiment. Kombucha is a culture of bacteria and yeast, where yeast produce CO2 and alcohol, and the bacteria turn the alcohol into acids, This is not so dissimilar from a sourdough culture, so I though I could maybe make use kombucha instead of yeast or starter.
I know some people successfully bootstrapped a sourdough starter from kombucha, but that's not what I wanted to do. I simply wanted to use the yeast from kombucha to make a bread.
I tried two experiments and they both failed.
For the first one, I simply swapped the water for kombucha, and made a 65% hydrated dough (with salt). This dough increased about 10% in volume in the first few hours, but then stopped rising. I let it overnight. It didn't rise anymore, it had really dried up and it smells pretty foul.
For the second one I made a preferment, no salt, 140% hydration, again with kombucha substituting for water, and again I left it overnight. It completely disintegrated, no rise at all as far as I can tell (but maybe it rose and collapsed, I can't say), and it became completely liquid, no gluten at all (is this because the kombucha is acidic?). There's a very think layer of hooch on top. I'd day it's about 50% hooch on top, and 50% flour sediment on the bottom. This one doesn't smell bad though. In fact, it doesn't really smell of anything.
Needless to say, my kombucha is definitely active, it produces a lot of CO2 in the brewing vessel, but it is at the end of its fermentation cycle and it is pretty sour.
Is there any chance this might work at all? I know people bake with yeast water, and I thought kombucha might be similar enough.