The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Pasta water sourdough

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Pasta water sourdough

Really pleased to have finally produced a beautiful loaf worth sharing :) Recently I didn't have much time for baking, so most of the time just put stuff together randomly with no specific idea in mind. It was kind of the same this time, but worked out well.

I had the idea to use pasta water in a bread. Seems like an easy way to incorporate a little gelatinized starch, and if it's still hot after cooking, would help raise the starting temperature. The issue is pasta water is very salty, so I decided to substitute only 1/3 of the water with pasta water, and reduce the salt a little bit.

Here is the formula: Very simple dough with around 100g rye starter (refreshed overnight and then left in the fridge all day), a little rye flour to finish the leftovers in the bag, and 400 g high extraction flour. 200 g water, 100 g pasta water, 2.5 g diastatic malt, 8 g salt.

Pasta water was still rather hot, so the dough was warm after mixing. I simply combined everything and left for a while for the gluten to form. Did a couple sets of folds and the dough felt strong. It was surprisingly active, although recently due to infrequent baking my starter is not the strongest. It seemed about ready in around 3.5 hrs, I gave it a gentle coil fold as a preshape, and then shaped after 30 min. Cold proofed overnight, then baked on a steel with steam.

Very soft crumb, typical taste for the flour I am using, nicely caramelized crust. I like the nice and even browning, I suspect it's the combination of gelatinized starch and malt that really helps bring nice colour (since gelatinized starch is hydrolized very easily - I think this contributed to the fast fermentation too).

Looking at the crumb, maybe I should have given it just a little bit more time in bulk, maybe 30 min would do the trick. Still, very pleased with the result!


Benito's picture

That’s a beautiful looking batard Ilya with nice scoring as well.  I agree that a bit more fermentation time would have benefitted the crumb.  Yet another good use of pasta water, great idea.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Benny!

JonJ's picture

Lovely bread and what a great idea to use pasta water!

Thanks for sharing this interesting idea.


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Jon! Easy thing to try, and I think it improved the results.

MTloaf's picture

An interesting concept with the pasta water. The crumb looks good to me and the uniform browning of the crust is more like pretzel buns that are dipped in boiling water before baking. 
I wonder how the pasta water would work in a pizza dough?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Yeah the browning is really cool! I often get paler sides on loaves even though I don't bake in a contained vessel, not a problem with this one at all.

Interesting idea about pizza, someone somewhere must have tried that!