Fruit juices, beers and dairy products in starters (Part 1)
Many liquids can be added to sourdough starters. Apart from water, the most common are probably fruit juices, beers and milk products. All of them contain natural sugars that might hasten the fermentation and also lead to a better crust color. Milk contains fat, which may soften the dough and lower gas retention. What about vitamin C – a substance which is known to strengthen gluten. Is it still effective when added with apple juice? How does the flavor and the aroma of the bread change, what are the effects on crust and crumb, how do juices and dairy products affect dough stability?
Answering these questions seems to be out of reach for me, but it is interesting to experiment with different products and look at the effect on the finished loaf. By the way, there are many recipes making use of interesting liquids in The handmade loaf written by Dan Lepard (even cucumber pickle juice).
This is a loaf made with apple juice and yoghurt. I have made this bread before a couple of times. Obviously, it is very hard to comment on improvements over recipes that use water only. I think it has a crispier crust with a more balanced flavor; even burnt bits taste malty and good. The crumb has a more pronounced aroma and feels very moist. Maybe I am chasing ghosts here or just feel like experimenting.
Next will be a raisin-rye loaf with malt beer.
French wheaten rye
- 60g strong white flour
- 60g rye flour
- 75g low-fat bio yoghurt
- 75g bio applejuice
- 10g (1 tsp) mature rye sourdough, hydration: 100%
- 120g warm water
- 220g strong white flour
- 50g rye flour
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 3g fresh yeast
Bulk fermentation: 1.5 hours.
Final fermentation: 1-1.5 hours.
Bake-off: Bake for 10 minutes at 240°C and for further 30-35 minutes at 200°C.
Source: A variation on a recipe found in: Dan Lepard, Richard Whittington: Baking with passion.