After a few attempts of baking soft buns with water kefir, I haven’t had any success for a soft and airy loaf. All of them turned out dense.
After seeking advices and discussion and some facts, my thoughts were, I am using water kefir starter which feeds on sugar but for soft buns, we use heavy cream, milk, butter and milk powder in the recipe which may be too heavy for the water kefir to start working. However, milk kefir is of the opposite, they feed on the fats content in milk. The higher the percentage of fats, the happier is the milk kefir and produces a good milk kefir drinks / yoghurt per se.
So, I came up with a simple recipe to test my logics:
Milk Kefir Loaf
Milk kefir starter:
125g Milk Kefir
125g Bread Flour
Mix the milk kefir and bread flour together as above. Leave it at rm temperature for 18-20 hours but not more than 24 hrs.
It should looks airy like above when it’s ready to use.
350g Japanese Bread flour
250g Milk Kefir Starter (abt 21hrs as above)
70g sugar + honey
200g Milk Kefir
36g Water Kefir (ok, I played cheat here, I ran out of milk kefir.)
Mix all the ingredients together at low speed except for the butter and salt.
Add in salt and butter when the dough is formed. Continue mixing at low speed until window panel is formed.
Rest about 30 mins and do a stretch and fold.
Cover with cling wrap and put in fridge for over night bulk fermention.
Bring out from fridge (you should the dough puff a little)
Please ignore the writing on the picture. It’s no longer valid for this picture. This dough was at 8.35am on 29th July.
and rest on tabletop for abt 1hr for the dough temperature to reach 20deg C.
This dough was 1 hr later.
Do a stretch and fold. Rest 30 mins.
Divide dough into half, shape into batard and rest 15mins.
Meanwhile, prepare the loaf tins with greased sides
Shape into batard again and place in tins:
This was just put in the tin at 10.30am.
Let it proof at room temperature. This will take very long…… mine was ready only at about 5.30pm. It took about 7 hrs to be like this:
You may now close the lid and send it to the oven.
Send it to a pre-heated oven of 180deg C for about 35mins.
Soft and airy bread. Crumbs were good.
It tasted abit sour due to the milk kefir used but I think the sourness is acceptable and that my children has no complains at all.