Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Whey Sourdough

Egnatius and Sue made some incredible cheese yesterday. Sue made her fabulous ricotta and Egnatius made mozzarella. In cheese making, one has to separate the curds from the whey and they whey is discarded.

Fortuitously, on Yeast Spotting this week, I noticed txfarmer's Whey Sourdough. She, too, apparently, had decided to make ricotta and used the whey for making sourdough. However, I was worried about the lemon juice in the ricotta being in the whey so I just used they whey from Egnatius' mozzarella.

There was a huge amount of whey left-- the result of an entire gallon of milk-- so I decided to make a variety of loaves. I made one double batch by txfarmer's specifications. I made the second set at Egnatius's design (he calls them his "designer loaves"). While I used the same process, I used this formula:

800g whole wheat flour
50g whole spelt flour
200g whole wheat starter
100g unbleached flour starter
610g whey + a little extra to soak the oats
20g salt
25g oat bran
50g rolled oats

The only changes to the method that I did were to add the soaked oats (both kinds) in during the mix at medium speed. I also added a preshape and a 25 minute bench rest to the shaping process.
Egnatius' Bread
Egnatius' bread was absolutely fantastic. It was nice and wheaty without being bitter. He is going to freeze one of the loaves and take it back to Ireland for his family.
Crumb is soft and crust is thin
So while whey thins the crust which I dislike, it also softens the interior and makes a 100% whole wheat loaf viable without being bitter which is fantastic. Whey is fantastic. Next time I will add even more whey for a more open crumb.

I also made two loaves by the specifications in the recipe. They were much lighter than Egnatius' loaves. They, too, did not bloom beautifully like txfarmer's loaves, but they were wonderful. The flavor was slightly sweeter and richer than traditional country sourdough on account of the whey. Also, the crust was heavier than on Egnatius' loaves, which I liked better. I am not yet sure of the reasoning.

If you make cheese, I would highly recommend using the whey for sourdough. It is quite a revelation for me.


  1. I'll send some whey your way (no pun intended) after my next batch of cheese, as long as you reciprocate with some of the fantastic bread ;)