July 15, 2022 - 11:50am
Changing Sourdough Recipe to Yeast Recipe
I’m a sourdough baker but am going to mentor a new bread baker who wants to start with yeast breads. I make a whole grain rye bread that calls for 180g of starter. I typically feed the starter in the evening and it’s ready in the morning.To make it with yeast, I thought I'd make 180g of preferment with 90g water and 90g flour and a pinch of yeast but I have no idea how long it would take to peak. And, how much yeast would I then add to the final dough? Or, do I need to use a preferment at all? Bottom line, I really don’t know how to make bread with yeast or what else to expect when changing my tried and true sourdough recipe to yeast. Thanks for any input.
You can't make whole grain rye bread with only yeast, it really needs acidity...
I'd start with a recipe designed for yeast, all your other knowledge about gluten development, shaping, baking with steam etc will still be very useful.
You would need about 0.5-1% fresh compressed yeast (or 0.25-0.5% dry yeast) and replace all water in the recipe with the sour whey drained from yogurt or from buttermilk in a Greek yogurt maker (in a special fine sieve, overnight). Everything else will be exactly as in your sourdough recipe, preferment, timing, temperature, etc.
Whole rye recipes with yeast will work only if your rye flour has high falling number and is not too contaminated with certain bacteria that survive baking and spoil bread. They are usually suppressed by the sourdough but not by yeast alone. Otherwise, with yeast alone, the whole rye bread crumb will be sticky-gooey, resembling fudge candy, and the rye bread irself will spoil soon after baking.
This is how yeasted whole rye bread looks depending on the falling number of its rye flour.
This is the difference between whole rye loaves baked with yeast alone (in the middle) and with sourdough.
These are really awesome examples, thank you for sharing mariana!
Wow, thank you for this invaluable information! Good thing I asked. I think my best bet is to take Ilya's advice and search for a tested recipe. The one I've made time and again for a few years (with a few adjustments) is the Almost Purely Rye Sourdough. If anyone can suggest a yeast recipe, I'd be grateful.
Plenty of rye recipes which only use yeast.
Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads has at least one recipe for a 40% rye.
King Arthur Baking has some yeast-risen rye breads. One good one that I have made more than once is the Russian Black Bread. I have also successfully modified this recipe by increasing the rye to 40% and replacing some of the bread flour with whole wheat (15%).
As a digression, I've always wondered why this type of bread is called "Russian" - cocoa and coffee? Fennel seeds? Not typical ingredients at all... What is called "black bread" in Russian is typically mostly rye (i.e. >80% usually), not just 26% rye, and then I don't remember any rye bread recipes with butter. Maybe the cocoa and coffee are used as a replacement for red rye malt, my only idea here.
Anyway, reviews for it, including yours, are very positive, so must be tasty!
Is Russian. I'm thinking just different techniques to get the same outcome.
I haven't seen the crumb, but from the picture with the crust it seems that this bread is way more black than Russian "black" bread :)
Substitutes are never quite the same but people want black bread and they got it 😉
When I first made this bread a couple of years ago, I figured it probably wasn't a traditional recipe. I didn't know much about Russian breads but it sounded interesting. The crumb is pretty dark but I didn't have the black cocoa specified so mine wasn't completely black. It is also similar to another Black Bread recipe from Real Bread (Maggie Baylis & Coralie Castle, authors) I had made decades ago while in grad school. It also used coffee and carob powder for color and used butter for fat.
I know a lot more about Russian and other Baltic rye breads now to realize that the King Arthur recipe is anything but traditional Russian. They should just change it to "Black Bread" and nobody would be the wiser. It does remind me of an old "Coffee Talk" skit from Saturday Night Live where the topic was: "The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss."
It is a delicious bread nonetheless.
After realizing that no matter what yeast recipe I use I'll have to test it before mentoring my friend, I decided to try my standard 100% rye recipe mentioned above, using whey for acidity instead of water. I'll post back when I make it next week. Thanks to all.