Multigrain Loaf made with Whey
We made some Ricotta cheese, which turns out to be very easy: you just get some milk, heat it gently, dump in some vinegar, and the curds and whey separate. Homemade Ricotta goes well in my wife's "Swiss Chard Pie".
The first time we made Ricotta we tried it with lemon juice instead of vinegar, and didn't get enough separation. And we were astonished at how much whey there was, leftover. We gave some to the chickens, who drank it up happily. And I thought, "since it contains some vinegar, it won't be any good for bread." But this time we made it, I thought I'd try it.
I really liked the results of the last freeform multigrain loaf I made, so this is an attempt to duplicate that recipe, using whey and a couple of other new ingredients:
- Starter 200g
- Whey 800g
- ww flour 800g
- rye flour 200g
- wheat germ 50g
- sunflower seeds 30g
- pumpkin seeds 30g
- roasted soya seeds 30g
- flax seeds 10g golden + 10g brown
- "8 grain" mixture (mostly oatmeal) 30g
- salt 20g
The whey was quite cold when I dumped the starter into it. The wild culture sat there for a bit, then sank to the bottom and dissolved. Once I stirred it into the flour mixture, it gained a bit of warmth, so the dough was not at all cool to my hands. The salt was added with a reserved 50g of whey after a short autolyse of 20 minutes.
The dough was stretched and folded q30 min for a few hours before I had to fall asleep in preparation for tonight's nightshift. Although it was 80% hydration, it felt like it could have been wetter. It was not very stretchy. In the end, the loaf felt very tight, not unlike a dough at about 65% hydration.
I think that the bread does have a slight vinegar scent, although you really can't taste it. There was not much oven spring. The gluten was not as well developed as I would have liked, but that might have required a higher hydration.
The crumb is quite soft, the only real texture is the multigrain. And there seems to be enough of this. Perhaps a few more sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would have been nice.
Notes to Myself
- Try bringing the whey to room temperature first before dumping the sourdough starter in it.
- Try an 85% hydration. The water content of whey is not 100%. Whey is the serous fluid of milk after it cheese curds have been removed. It contains a lot of proteins -- as the wiki on whey will point out, it contains alpha- and beta- lactoglobulins, as well as glycomacropeptides. It will also have lots of lactose, vitamins and minerals and even some fat. Unfortunately, wiki doesn't tell me how much water is in it. This is probably widely variable. Most other sources are concerned about removing the water content, to dry the parts that have food value. The site dairyforall (which promotes milk products) indicates that whey is between 93-95% water. Using the number 95% for the water content of my whey means the water content of this bread is not 80%, but rather 76%. If you used 85% whey, then the overall true water hydration would be about 80.75%. With the extra proteins and fats which may act as surfactants, this would probably be appropriate for this whole wheat and multigrain loaf.
- The pdf de Wit, J. (2001) "Lecturer's Handbook on whey and whey products 1st edition" European Whey Products Association, Belgium indicates:
"Whey and whey-based products have been found to improve the flavour, aroma, colour, texture and (in some cases) also the shelf life of bakery products. The use of demineralized whey is preferred because of its blander taste…"
- Whey does work in my homebaked bread, and I am happy to have something to do with it rather than give it to chickens or pour it over my raspberry plants.