From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Using kefir milk in soda bread

I finally got around to making up an Irish soda bread using the kefir milk I made last week.

Though the milk sat for 7 days, it smelled very nice.  There was about 3/8" separation on the top, but I just stirred everything together, no prob.

Since this is the first soda bread made with kefir, it is an experiment.  Spelt needs less hydration than wheat flour.  When I made soda bread with buttermilk (the best bread), I had to use a tad more than the 1.5C called for.

When I didn't have fresh buttermilk, I used dried buttermilk and water (2nd best bread)  I had to use less water because it soaked up more than the buttermilk.

When I used whey (3rd best), I had to figure out the ratio there, too.

The kefir is thinner than buttermilk, but thicker than water and whey.

After the regular dry ingredients, I loaded the it down with 1C of raisins and 1/2C of walnuts and 1/4C sugar.

Since the kefir was almost buttermilk-thick, I thought I'd better use the whole 1.5C for this batch.  When the dough came together it looked like it was too dry.  So I added another 1T of kefir.  I shouldn't have.

I'd been stirring with my spatula and when I did the final mixing by hand, I could tell it was too wet.  So I had to add about 2T+ of spelt to dry it out a bit.

I may have overdone the raisins, though.  You can see they have stuck out everywhere instead of staying inside where they belonged. *heh*

The final rise of the baked bread is comparable to the buttermilk breads I've made (the water/whey breads didn't get as big).

This one turned out a tad more toasted than I like - could be the oven is being ornery today OR that kefir milk browns differently.

Next time I'll set the heat down to 400F instead of 425F and see what's what.

The bread is still to hot to cut now.  I'll have to update this post later for taste/texture test results.

Stay tuned.


Taste test!

While a tad toasted, this bread turned out JUST AS GOOD as the breads I made with buttermilk!

The texture is fine and dense and moist - almost creamy on the tongue.  The flavor is excellent.  *munch*

And those crusty raisins are the bomb.

I give this experiment WAY thumbs up.  Kefir milk is the only way to go now since it's so easy to make and have on hand.  And talk about PENNIES per quart.  Thanks, Leigh! :-D

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  1. It looks good! I can almost taste it. I have never seen spelt flour in quantity in the stores I shop. Where do you find yours?

    1. There is a farmer's market up in Hartville (Beilers). They have lots of pre-bagged bulk goods: beans, nuts, candies, flours, rice, etc. I buy their whole-grain spelt @ 1.29/lb. For white (sifted) spelt, I order organic flour from Small Valley Milling in PA (plus shipping #10 @ 2.60/lb.). Yep - this soda bread is just terrific - and toasting it makes it even better. :-D

  2. And it looks delicious too! Isn't it amazing what we can do to milk?

    1. I don't do much TO milk, but a lot WITH it. LOL