So, yet another of things I’m experimenting with was inspired by The Mad Fermentationist, namely, Brettanomyces yeast in bread making. I’ve only found two cases online, one by TMF who used it to make some baguettes and the other by a guy who used Brett to make pizza dough.
So a cxouple of days ago, I decided to make a sourdough starter using rye (the most easily fermented type of flour, apparently–all you really need to do is mix it with water and leave it warm, the lactobacillus and the wild yeasts do their thing quite happily, they say) but it wasn’t fermenting, so I added some Brettanomyces Clausenii slurry. Not much, just enough to get the party started.
I am pretty certain that I’m going to try again with a pure rye starter, but I figured I might as well dump some of the Brett slurry into the starter since I had some on hand (I won’t always) and the result has been pretty remarkable: the starter had a kind of foam on the top the very next day, and was bubbling nicely. It has a very nice aroma, too, somewhat fruity and fairly sour. Indeed, I had to discard some of the starter, but was loathe to do so, so I split it and added some of the brine from my sauerkraut (which ferments because of pediococcus, from what I’ve read), as well as some homemade yogurt (with live lactobacillus).
All those nice bugs all working together makes for a very effective souring effect, though to be honest it’s the batch with the natural lacto (from the rye) and the Brettanomyces that I’m finding is the most powwerful starter. It doubled in size the other day, and when I forgot to feed it, I get the impression that the Brett continued to work on the starches available, as the starter was much liquid in form this evening than it was this morning.
If I can get the starter to work, I’ll probably make some sourdough rye bread for use in making the kvass I want to make in a week or two. However, I’ll probably also make a loaf or two just to eat, along the way. That’d be nice. The starter should probably be resilient enough to spring back from such activity by this weekend, I think.