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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Whole Wheat Sourdough with Buttermilk Hydration

I have been curious about buttermilk as a hydrating liquid for a whole wheat bread for a while now.  Some yeasted whole wheat breads have buttermilk as an ingredient instead of water (e.g. Mildred Orton's recipe).  I just wanted to try it in my sourdough bread to see what it would do to the crumb.

The extra fat in the liquid certainly does have an effect.  I think that it made the interior a bit more soft and tender, the holes smaller and more uniform.  It probably also gave it some more sweetness.  It may have caused the crust to be a bit thicker, though.

I had 760g of buttermilk to use, but it didn't seem to be hydrated enough, so I added another 45g of water to the dough.  Then it was workable.  One might measure this as 80.5% of hydration, but the whole weight of the buttermilk shouldn't be counted as hydration probably.

Notes to Myself
  • Curious that milk should be scalded before using in a bread, but buttermilk doesn't need to? Why is that?
  • I'm starting to go by "feel" of the dough now, rather than slavishly sticking to recipes.  Sometimes.

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