The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

I asked ChatGPT

bread_to_be's picture

I asked ChatGPT

is Peter Reinhart's whole wheat bread recipe close to sourdough?

I'm sharing its reply here as I'm curious to know what members here think:


Peter Reinhart's whole wheat bread recipe is not inherently a sourdough recipe. However, with certain modifications and techniques, you can adapt it to have a more sourdough-like flavor. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Incorporate a sourdough starter: Instead of using commercial yeast, you can use a portion of your active sourdough starter as a leavening agent. Adjust the recipe accordingly, reducing the amount of yeast and adding the sourdough starter. Keep in mind that this will require longer fermentation times.

  2. Extend the fermentation period: Allowing the dough to ferment for a longer duration, such as overnight or up to 12-24 hours, will give it more time to develop a tangy flavor similar to sourdough. This can be done by using less yeast or adjusting the temperature to encourage slower fermentation.

  3. Use a preferment: A preferment, such as a poolish or a biga, can add depth of flavor to the bread. Create a preferment with flour, water, and a small amount of yeast, and let it ferment for several hours or overnight before incorporating it into the final dough.

  4. Adjust hydration levels: Sourdough bread tends to have a higher hydration level, which results in a more open crumb structure. You can increase the water content slightly in Reinhart's recipe to achieve a similar effect.

Remember that these modifications may require some experimentation and adjustments based on your specific sourdough starter and environmental conditions. It's always a good idea to consult specific sourdough bread recipes or resources for more detailed instructions on sourdough baking.







mariana's picture

I am sure that baking is a hands on business, the knowledge comes from the baking itself, and chatGPT never baked a loaf in its life. 

Maybe you and chatGPT were referring to different breads when chatting about "PR's whole wheat bread" but Peter's whole wheal sandwich bread formula  from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads does include 50% prefermented flour, prefermented in biga for up to 3days (!!!), so the AI answer is not entirely correct.

Sourdoughs are not always sour tasting or tangy flavored breads or even breads with "deeper flavors" even if a starter is used.

jo_en's picture


The next step is to feed the "answers" into a machine and the bread will come out. I wonder how satisfied this "eater" will be.

No more self-learning of the great miraculous elements of fermentation (especially water's role) to bring out features that one learns to appreciate about the bread they personally like. No more taking the extra effort to develop (and with trial and error) a gift for someone with considerations of its purpose. No more knowing the effects of productiveness through one's hands by way of one's own analysis and searching for how others have learned. 

I am for learning with others and for others!


doughooker's picture

I am sure that baking is a hands on business, the knowledge comes from the baking itself, and chatGPT never baked a loaf in its life.

Exactly. Ask chatGPT how the finished loaf tastes. Will it give an honest answer like "I cannot taste bread" or will it give a phony made-up answer?