Peaches, or any fruit left over from the second fermentation of kombucha are full of the living probiotics and other kombucha goodness, but usually are not eaten by my family because they are soft and slightly fizzy. I like them though.
When making sourdough bread… I always use a probiotic ingredient and it usually is only kefir. This time I had a jar with the kombucha peaches and a little sour kombucha in the bottom and used that instead.
I have changed the way I make sourdough bread lately, which is faster and easier, but the dough is very sticky so I use my kitchen aid mixer instead of kneading everything by hand. Instead of using exclusively whole grain flour such as whole wheat or rye, which makes for a very dense bread, I now use about half whole grain flour and half unbleached white flour. The bread is lighter and very moist, but still is a dense sourdough.
The instructions for how to take care of your sourdough starter, another way I make bread and also how to make your own starter are here. I pour about a cup or two of the starter into my mixer, a heaping teaspoon of real salt, about a couple of tablespoons of raw honey, and about two cups of kefir, more or less depending on how much I have. This time I added the kombucha and peaches which was probably about two cups and also added about a cup of kefir.
Mix everything very well with your dough hook, and add about one or two… cups of whole grain flour. Keep adding flour and mixing and then switch to the white flour. Sometimes I add millet, flax seeds, herbs, cheese, or anything else to jazz things up. I probably add another two cups of white flour and keep mixing until the consistency is still very sticky but the dough is now staying together in a ball and pulls away from the sides of the mixer. It probably is in the mixer for about 10 minutes. My mixer is not a huge one, and considering I used a bit more liquid than I usually do, the dough was still very wet but there was not room in it to add any more flour. At this point I transfer the dough to a large bowl with some flour in the bottom of it, and hand knead for a few minutes, adding flour until I get the consistency I like.
This dough was much wetter than what I usually make, but I have found that a wet sticky sourdough makes a moister bread or pizza dough. Now I pour on some olive oil and make sure the entire dough ball is covered, top and bottom, with some oil and cover with plastic wrap. I place it in my propane oven which has a pilot light to keep it warm, and let it rise overnight.
Punch the dough down, which is not punching at all but just gathering the dough away from the sides of the bowl, lifting and turning the dough and bowl until most of the air is out. It was such a soft sticky dough that I did knead in a little flour at this point.
As you can see, sourdough bread making is extremely forgiving and the only trick is enough time to rise as opposed to the absolute rigidity of instructions and science behind making yeast breads. Absolute rigidity and strict instructions don’t mix well with me, which is why I like to make sourdough. Cover with plastic and let it rise again. Most bread recipes say to just cover with a towel, but I don’t want the dough to dry out, nor want any visitors or dust to explore my dough.
I was surprised how bubbly and alive this dough was, figuring that it was the active probiotics in the kombucha peaches. You do have to kind of gage when you want a loaf of fresh bread from the oven, so you have to plan accordingly for at least two rises and then to rise in the pan. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and punch the dough down for the second rise and then again very early for a rise in the pan.
Pour some olive oil in a bread pan and oil the sides and bottom very well. This dough was still so wet, much more difficult to handle than I prefer, but I knew it would still work. Fill the bread pan a little over half with dough and put in a warm place to rise in the pan. The rise in the pan takes about 30 to 45 min usually.
I typically do not like the bread to rise too much over the edges of the pan because it makes it difficult to run your knife around the pan to get the bread out once it is baked. This dough was so soft that it did run over the sides a little bit when it rose.
Now for my super easy, make sourdough bread or pizza… at a moments notice, trick. I always make a big batch of dough because what I don’t use for one loaf of bread goes into a large ziplock bag into the refrigerator to pull out about 30 or 45 min before you want to bake bread. The dough will even continue to rise in the fridge, so you have to keep an eye on it every few days and let the trapped air out of the bag, but you can keep it in the fridge for at least a week.
To bake a loaf of bread preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After the bread has risen in the pan, place it in the hot oven for about 30 min. I find that 30 to 40 min in the oven works for me at this altitude and the bread is done when the top crust is hard and the bread is softly brown. Immediately take a rounded knife and run it along the sides of the bread and loosen it from the pan, turn over to take out the loaf and just set it cross ways on top of the pan to cool.
The loaf will be both crumbly on the top and sides, so you have to slice it slowly while it is still warm with a good serrated knife, and very moist in the middle.
The verdict was that this bread is a hit! Very very tasty and a great texture. It has a great sour flavor which I love to pair with a very tangy cultured clotted cream or kefir cheese.
Shared with Yeast Spotting.