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aspergillus oryzae: overnight oats + bread, koji, miso, sakadane

headupinclouds's picture

aspergillus oryzae: overnight oats + bread, koji, miso, sakadane

Aspergillus Oryzae is at the heart of many delicious East Asian ferments, including miso, tempeh, sake, etc.  I have been reading through The Noma Guide to Fermentation, where Rene Redzepi and David Zilber of Noma fame lay out a number of aspergillus oryzae ferments critical to much of the success of their restaurant.  This is really a fusion of a culinary practice with an incredibly long history in East Asia, with local ingredients and flavors of Denmark -- their culinary terroir.  Somewhat surprisingly, bread is almost completely lacking from the book, except as a "food" for their ryeso recipe.  From my understanding, it produces little to no CO2 as a byproduct, and is therefore not effective as a levain in bread making.  It isn't clear this exclusion indicates they haven't used it.   After some online searches, it seems a sakadane starter can be produced from koji that apparently can be effective at raising bread.  This is apparently commonly paired with a yudane practice (similar to the commonly used tangzhong scald approach used for soft fluffy loaves). 

One of my favorite breakfasts is overnight miso oats or muesli.  In this dish, oats or muesli are cooked to make starches accessible and a small amount of active miso (I like sweet white rice miso) is introduced to the mixture after cooling to a warm temperature.  If left overnight in a warm place (estimated 80-90 F), come morning the oats will have a lovely mildly sweet miso taste.  I've been curious about ways to introduce this as a complementary flavor oriented fermentation in sourdough bread making.  Some searches have pointed back to some interesting miso flavored sourdough breads posted on TFL.  Active miso seems particularly effective at breaking down grains, and I'm not sure whether it will be detrimental to starch quality and/or gluten development required for proper loaf form, oven spring, etc.  It would be nice to find more literature discussing this aspect.

Miso test dough:

Overnight saltolyse of two dough mixes at approximately equal hydration with matching sodium content, where mix 1 contains 15 g miso and mix 2 contains none.

100 g flour, 75 g water, 15 g miso, 1.7 g salt (sodium = 2g)

100 g flour, 90 g water, 0 g miso, 2.0 g salt (sodium = 2g)

I made some poppyside buns to make this an edible experiment.  The one on the right had the miso.  They were extremely similar -- this miso had no noticeable adverse affects on the dough, although II didn't notice a significant different at 15% (bakers percentage).  I can push it further next time.  Things to try:

* increase the percentage of miso

* increase the temperature so the miso culture will be more active

* include a scald or porridge soaker so the miso culture

This was a very quick before pre-bedtime experiment, but it seems that including 15% miso (baker's percentage) at room temperature for 12 hours or so does not lead to noticeable dough degradation.  If anything, the dough with the miso seems a fair amount stronger, although this was a fairly hasty experiment and my quick assumption that miso paste was approximately 100% hydration is obviously not correct.  I was primarily interested in how dough would hold up over long periods of time with miso in the mix.  It seems to be fine.

Since there is apparently already a tradition of making bread with a koji based sakadane culture, it would make sense to try to reproduce this next, and perhaps see how this combines with my current sourdough starter.  It will be a good excuse to use the koji in my freezer I originally intended to use for tempeh.

How To Make Sakadane


TFL bakes:

Benny's Koji Rice Porridge Sourdough:


Resources: : How To Make Sakadane


Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

To a sourdough recipe and it worked very well indeed! By amazake I mean the fermented rice which is like a sweet rice pudding. It's purpose was just for texture and flavour with the leavening and culture coming from the starter. I recommend trying it in your sourdough. I'd rather think it acts like a tangzhong or porridge. 

Here is the recipe from my old account. 

headupinclouds's picture

Thanks for sharing.  I love that stuff and nigori sake.  That bread seems to be a kindrid spirit to the sakadane based breads.  I can imagine that playing a role in the moist soft crumb you mention.  I'm curious if the amazake you used was active or not, and if that would play a significant role.  Unfortunately, one of the photos disappeared.  Perhaps you still have it?

My takeaways are:

* it seems to have have contributed to the crumb (either from the creamy rice milk itself and/or live cultures)

* it increased tanginess of the final loaf more so than sweetness (perhaps sugars were consumed during BF over overpowered by other flavors)

Benito's picture

I’m so excited to see this post.  I started to flavour some of my sourdough breads with miso, I love the flavour of it.  I’m guessing that your test dough may have strengthened because of the salt from the 15% miso.

I’ve also posted my koji rice porridge bread here before as well.  It had compromised ovenspring because I think I used too high a percentage of the koji rice.  It was a tasty bread though and I do plan to make it again but with less of the koji rice and perhaps with some miso.

I am interested to see what you come up with, I’m so happy there is another TFL baker using miso and koji here now.


headupinclouds's picture

Thanks for your comment.  I've going to read through your miso and koji baking notes in detail tomorrow.

I made sesame buns from these mini test doughs.  In the end they were very similar.  The main takeaway was that 15% miso dough showed no signs of degradation for this duration and temperature, nor did it have any significant impact on flavor (w/ total sodium fixed for each dough).  I can try increasing miso (will check your ratios), temperature, and using a scald to help feed it.  I recently sifted bran from the wheat in a wheat + rye loaf after milling and made an overnight miso bran porridge (after a quick scale) in my makeshift incubator at a more aggressive 90 F using a mild chickpea miso.  It showed signs of breaking down (whether it was the bran itself and/or attached endosperm or germ I don't know) and it created a very sweet flavor similar to the overnight miso oats.  That part seemed promising, but it was an early CB and I had concerns it would cause problems in the dough, so I put it in the glaze from dmsnyder's recipe, which turned out not to be a good idea, as it couldn't stand up to the heat and ended up blackening the outside of the loaf.  I can try adding this as a porridge, along the lines of your rice porridge sourdough to see how it behaves.  Once I get the sakadane culture going I can try some experiments with that.


I'm going to read through some of your posts tomorrow.

Benito's picture

I had never heard of sakadane until your post.  What an interesting idea for use in bread.  I like your idea of a miso oatmeal as well that is an interesting idea.  One thing I haven’t yet tried but have wanted to for sometime was Chad Robertson’s idea of a double fermented koji rice porridge.  If I recall correctly he prepares the koji rice allowing it to cool and then adds starter to it when he prepares the levain for the bread.  This gets the koji rice starting to ferment.  I assume that it will enhance the flavours somehow.  That is still on my list of things to bake, perhaps that will strengthen the flavour of the koji rice enough that one might be able to taste it even if one drops the koji rice down to 20% where you might be able to get better oven spring from the bread.

ericjs's picture

Very interesting! I'd like to try the miso-oat porridge--how long do you cook oats? Do you cook them as if you were going to eat them right off, or less that? And is the miso paste you might buy from the refrigerator section of a grocery store "active"?


headupinclouds's picture

I probably cook them slightly al dente, since the miso will liquify the grains, but this is definitely one that I don't give much thought to.  I use South River Miso, which is a live product.   I believe much of the miso available in grocery stores is not active, so it is worth double checking.

Here is a link to the simple process on the South River Miso website: