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Engineering Your Way To Better Sourdough (and Other Fermented Goods) ((TOP))

But making this call can be difficult. Cutting bulk fermentation short might mean your dough won't be sufficiently fermented and you'll head toward an under-proofed result. On the other hand, if you push bulk fermentation too far, your dough will be hard to handle and on the verge of over-proofing. There's a balance to be found.

Engineering Your Way To Better Sourdough (and Other Fermented Goods)

Hi Bob, it sounds like your almond/apricot or tomato/olive loaves are either being weighed down by the added ingredients, or these ingredients are restricting the rise in other ways. For example, perhaps the apricots and dried tomatoes are absorbing moisture from the loaves, making the dough stiffer and slower to rise. Another possibility is that the olives are adding extra salt to the dough, which is slowing down fermentation. It's possible that simply allowing these loaves a longer bulk ferment will result in a better rise, or you may need to scale back on the amount of extra ingredients you add to these loaves to achieve a better rise. Consider both the hydration of these doughs and the salt content as factors that could cause a slower rise. If the olives you are adding to the dough are very salty, you might consider rinsing them well and then patting them dry before adding them to the dough. Checking for pits is always a good idea as well!

Fatty acids and related compounds can influence the quality of fermented foods. For example, one species of bacteria in sourdough cultures produces a type of fatty acid that increases bread's resistance to mold. Scientists, however, haven't had a good handle on how specific cultures drive the formation of these and other similar compounds in meat, partially because some of the previous studies on meats have not included a bacteria-free control. To better understand the link between microbes and molecules, Nuanyi Liang and colleagues wanted to see how the production of fatty acids within sausages varied depending on the microbial culture used to ferment it.

To do so, they prepared the meat three ways. In one method, they included only the bacterium Latilactobacillus sakei; in another preparation, they used both L. sakei and Staphylococcus carnosus. Both of these samples were made in such a way as to prevent contamination from bacteria in the environment. They treated the third sample -- the control -- with an antibiotic solution to eliminate the microbes naturally living within the sausage. Over the course of 20 days, they checked the sausages and found a markedly different profile for microbe-free sausage compared to the sausage containing either of the two microbial cultures. For example, the researchers observed that linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid, was accumulating in the microbe-free sausage but not in the cultured sausage. Differences emerged between the two sets of microbes as well, with the sausage containing the L. sakei culture alone, for example, producing higher levels of coriolic acid, which has antifungal activity and, at higher concentrations, also imparts bitter taste. A better understanding of the biochemistry by which microbes influence the quality of sausage and other fermented foods will aid the production of consistent, long-lasting and good-tasting products, the researchers say.

Indeed, sourdough bread gained a lot of interest during lockdown as people started to bake at home. The search on the internet for how to make sourdough exploded. Sourdough is recognised by the majority of consumers as being healthier and tastier. Making sourdough bread requires a long fermentation process (about 20h). Lactic acid bacteria play a big role. We know these from many other traditional fermented foods and they are also key to a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut is the main driver of a good immune system, which is extremely important as the pandemic continues to thrive. Sourdough closes the loop.

Another option is to sprout them. During sprouting, the enzymatic activity of the grain liberates all nutrition for the germ to grow. This is the right moment to eat and digest the grains. Fibres of the grains are very important for the transit. With the right sourdough fermentation, those fibres can become pre-biotic, which means they serve as food for our good gut microbes, boosting your immune system. Many new technologies help to deliver better bread to the consumer!

Intrigued to learn more about the microbial communities employed in sourdough making, a group of scientists at North Carolina State University invited bakers from around the world in 2017 to submit samples of sourdough starters to study under the microscope. The researchers have also been studying microbes in other fermented foods including cheese, sauerkraut and kimchi.

On one hand, yes, sourdough bread is more of a commitment than my sandwich bread recipe (you can find that in my book, btw, Sweet Maple, available on Amazon or, even better, grab a copy here and support local businesses with your purchase.)

Without access to the great outdoors, housebound nature lovers are finding new and creative ways to explore the great indoors. For Kellman, a North Berkeley resident and graduate student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department at UC Berkeley, that means experimenting with making his own sourdough bread and other fermented foods.

Fermented foods and beverages are defined as those in which the product is modified by the growth of microbes or communities of microbes. This broad class of foods and beverages is near ubiquitous throughout world. Through fermentation, the resistance to spoiling, flavour, texture, aroma and nutritional content of foods and beverages can all be improved. Many fermented foods and beverages are produced through the action of complex communities of microbes. For instance, sourdough bread is produced through the combined action of lactic acid bacteria, from genera such as Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and Leuconostoc, and of yeasts, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida humilis [1]. Wine is another fermented product consisting of the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida and Hanseniaspora species, and bacteria Oenococcus oeni, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Pediococcus parvulus, with complex interactions among them [2].

After title, abstract, and full-text screening, extraction of data from 301 articles resulted in an extensive list of compounds that were detected in human biofluids following the consumption of various fermented foods, with the majority of articles focusing on coffee (69), wine (69 articles), cocoa (62), beer (34), and bread (29). The identified compounds from all included papers were consolidated and sorted into FIBs proposed for a specific food, for a food group, or for the fermentation process. Alongside food-specific markers (e.g., trigonelline for coffee), and food-group markers (e.g., pentadecanoic acid for dairy intake), several fermentation-dependent markers were revealed. These comprised compounds related to the fermentation process of a particular food, such as mannitol (wine), 2-ethylmalate (beer), methionine (sourdough bread, cheese), theabrownins (tea), and gallic acid (tea, wine), while others were indicative of more general fermentation processes (e.g., ethanol from alcoholic fermentation, 3-phenyllactic acid from lactic fermentation).

Due to the overlapping compositional profiles of many foods, identification of specific FIBs for individual foods is challenging. In this review, food-level biomarkers were identified for beer, bread, wine, coffee, cheese, and fermented (rooibos) tea (Table 1). These compounds were largely derived from the (unfermented) raw materials. For example, isoxanthohumol, 8-prenylnaringenin, and iso-alpha-acids originate from beer hops that are used in the brewing process; tartaric acid and resveratrol are found at high concentrations in the grapes used for wine production [45,46,47,48]; and trigonelline and 2-furoylglycine originate from coffee beans and the coffee roasting process [49, 50]. For bread, the organic acids 2,4-dihydroxybutanoic acid and 2,8-dihydroxyquinoline glucuronide were identified following the intake of fermented sourdough endosperm rye and white wheat bread [51]. While these organic acids have seemingly not yet been detected/quantified in other foods (from food database searches), future validation would be useful in determining their usefulness as specific biomarkers for bread intake.

Several of the potential FIBs identified in this search correspond to specific features of the type of fermentation process or the food that is fermented. Notably, the presence of high levels of the sugar-alcohol mannitol in wine is indicative of fructose degradation during fermentation with LAB [29, 119, 120], while 2-ethylmalate detected in beer is indicative of yeast fermentation [121]. A significant increase in methionine following sourdough bread [51] and cheese consumption [58] is in line with previous reports of methionine detected in fermented foods, and methionine (and lysine) production by some cultures of Lactobacillus and yeasts used in the fermentation of cereals [122, 123].

The other three products were produced in-house, using the same flour as for RCB. Sourdough-fermented whole grain rye bread (sRB) was prepared by mixing 5150 g whole grain rye flour, 35.9 g NaCl, 1300 g commercial sourdough (Jästbolaget AB, Sweden), 125 g fresh yeast and 4405 g H2O. The dough was mixed for 4 min at low speed and 4 min at high speed in a dough mixer (Varimixer, Charlotte, NC, USA), proofed for 30 min at room temperature, divided into 900 g portions and placed in baking tins, and then put in a proofing chamber at 38 C and 80% relative humidity for 40 min. Baking (50 min) was initiated at 230 C with 8 s of steam, and then immediately lowered to 190 C.

L'Appartement 4F began in our small Brooklyn apartment. We started as a two person cottage bakery making handcrafted small batches of slow fermented, sourdough bread. Through lots of trial, error, and butter, we curated a menu that brings France to NYC. We opened a brick and mortar in Brooklyn Heights in May of 2022. Each croissant is still rolled by hand and we hope you taste how special that is. A special delivery from l'appartement to yours!


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