Your Questions About Sourdough Rising Time

Mandy asks…

Is sourdough bread healthy?

Trying to lose about 10 pounds, want to know if sourdough bread is healthy?? What if its wholemeal or organic??

sourdough answers:

Sourdough bread is just bread that uses “naturally” occurring yeast instead of using something like instant yeast so it rises more slowly which gives it that sour dough taste.

I used to make it

David asks…

Yeast fermentation in bread making?

Could someone please describe to me thoroughly how the yeast ferments when it his in the bread; the reaction of it towards sugar, in what conditions does the bread making yeast grow better, and etc. Please!

sourdough answers:

I will try to keep this short.

Yeast is used in bread for a few reasons. Mainly, it makes bread rise. It does this, because its metabolic pathway after complete glycolysis yields alcohol, CO2 and pyruvate. Alcohol, in baking is important for taste. Breads such as sourdough have their taste due to their low alcohol concentration. The CO2 released is what causes the bread to rise. Yeast works best at a temperature range of 30-37 degrees centigrade, but it will function at lower temperatures but not as well.

Michael asks…

Latvian dark rye bread recipe?

I’m looking to make a “Latvian dark rye bread” called Black Bread. I’m going to use rye malt but I do not know what proportions to use. Does anyone know either proportions or the recipe for Latvian dark rye? Thanks for all your help.

sourdough answers:

Sorry – I couldn’t find an exact recipe for Latvian dark rye, however this is Russian Black Bread proportions, and there is apparently a good recipe on Smitten Kitchen (excellent blog). Basically you make a no-knead sourdough rye. The proportions are something like: 3-4 cups rye flour, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1 cup sourdough starter (rye-based, but wheat can work), a tablespoon of malt, and enough water so that it’s a dense but somewhat wet mixture (maybe 1.5-2 cups?). Mix it all up, cover, and give it 12-24 hours to ferment and double in size. Transfer to a loaf pan, let it rise again for another couple of hours, then bake at 425 F for around 40 minutes.

James asks…

Why won’t my bread rise?

My sourdough loaves have a nice flavor, but they have also been flat and dense.

I have been making my own starter using high grade flour and water. I feed it every day.

sourdough answers:

Did you use yeast

Steven asks…

what is the scientific process of making sourdough?

sourdough answers:

G’day Kamy S.,

Thank you for your question.

Sourdough is a symbiotic culture of lactobacilli and yeasts used to leaven bread. Sourdough bread has a distinctive taste, due mainly to the lactic acid and acetic acid produced by the lactobacilli.

A sourdough starter is a stable symbiotic culture of yeast and lactobacteria, including the well known Candida milleri (yeast) and Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis (bacteria) of San Francisco sourdough, growing in a paste of flour and water.

A fresh culture begins with a mixture of flour and water. Fresh flour naturally contains a wide variety of yeast and bacteria spores. When wheat flour contacts water, naturally-occurring amylase enzymes break down the starch into complex sugars (saccharose and maltose); maltase converts the sugars into glucose and fructose that yeast can metabolize. The lactobacteria feeds mostly on the metabolism products from the yeast. The mixture develops a balanced, symbiotic culture after repeated feedings.

There are several ways to increase the chances of creating a stable culture. Fresh, organic flour contains more microorganisms than more processed flour. Bran-containing (wholemeal) flour provides the greatest variety of organisms and additional minerals, though some cultures use an initial mixture of white flour and rye flour or “seed” the culture using unwashed organic grapes (for the wild yeasts in their skins). Bakers recommend un-chlorinated water for feeding cultures. Adding a small quantity of diastatic malt provides maltase and simple sugars to support the yeasts initially.

The flour-water mixture can also be inoculated from a previously kept culture. The culture is stable due to its ability to prevent colonization by other yeasts and bacteria as a result of its acidity and other anti-bacterial agents. As a result, many sourdough bread varieties tend to be relatively resistant to spoilage and mold.

The yeast and bacteria in the culture will cause a wheat-based dough, whose gluten has been developed sufficiently to retain gas, to leaven or rise. Obtaining a satisfactory rise from sourdough, however, is more difficult than with packaged yeast, because the lactobacteria almost always outnumber the yeasts by a factor of between 100 and 1000, and the acidity of the bacteria inhibit the yeasts’ gas production. The acidic conditions, along with the fact that the bacteria also produce enzymes which break down proteins, result in weaker gluten, and a denser finished product.

I have attached sources for your reference.


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