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Not Quite Sourdough, But It Rose

I made some bread today, my 2nd try at making bread with Brettanomyces Claussenii yeast. Brett C. is, as you may know, a strain of wild yeast of the kind used in some kinds of brewing, and I brewed a beer using it as my sole yeast back in late October of this year. (It’s been in the bottle a week and I plan on testing out a small bottle this afternoon, to see if the carbonation is where I’d like it to be.)

Anyway, I saw that The Mad Fermentationist had made some baguettes with a strain of Brett, and I figured I’d give it a try too.

My results are not quite as spectacular: the smaller loaf, which just got out of the oven an hour or two ago, certainly rose, but didn’t do so spectacularly, and there wasn’t much funkiness to the bread. I’m going to add some more flour to the bigger portion of the dough, which I haven’t baked, and leave it somewhere mild so the Brett gets a chance to spread throughout the new flour without liquefying it.

And yes, if you leave the Brett yeast to do as it will with bread dough, it will liquefy the dough and also produce alcohol: I left my sample of bretted starter in a warm place for a few days when I got busy, and it had churned out a half-inch layer of beery liquid above the starter that distinctly smelled of alcohol. I probably should have decanted, but I figured it was crawling with Brett and just mixed it into the dough when I halved the starter and added more flour.

The only thing I’m disappointed about is that there is no sourness. I could, of course, introduce some pediococcus from my (still fermenting) sauerkraut brine, and I could also try get a nice lactobacillus starter going with some plain rye yeast, which is supposed to be easy. But all that will have to wait a bit, as I’m busy at the moment. We’ll see, maybe the second chunk of dough will have a more funky character from having sat longer with the Brett chewing away at it.

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