100% rye bread in 30 hours from scratch, or understanding concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS)


Is it possible to bake 100% rye bread in 30h from scratch?
Is it possible to get rye sourdough just in 24h?

- Yes it is, just watch the video and read following explanation.


Understanding concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS)

Besides traditional sourdough which contains lactic acid bacteria and yeast, small bakeries in Russia use non-traditional, concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), that contains only lactic acid bacteria.
This sourdough has following characteristics:

  • Hydration 190%
  • pH 3,6-3,8 (18-22 °S)
  • Fermentation temperature 40°C±2°C
  • Lack of yeast

Usually CLAS (Russian KMKZ) is started with lactic acid bacteria only and due to the fermentation temperature of 40°C, yeast have no chance to develop in this kind of sourdough. In absence of yeast, lactic acid bacteria is able to produce more acid and sourdough becomes more sour comparing to the traditional ones. This fact is very positive for the self preservation, CLAS can stay at room temperature for 24-48h without losing its properties. During this time CLAS can be used for baking bread, what is very important for small bakeries.

What is good for small bakeries turned out to be VERY GOOD for hobby bakers.
Me and a lot of Russian hobby bakers have used CLAS for a long time already and it is time to share this technology with other world.
How to gain CLAS at home conditions without having access to the “clean” lactic acid bacteria strains? On practice it is much easier as you can think.

General Formula to get CLAS in one step, within only 24 hours:

Rye or any other malt: 25g
Whole grain rye flour: 75g
Water T. 45°C: 180 ml
Vinegar (5%): 10 ml
Fermentation temperature: 40°C±2°C
Fermentation time: 24-36h
Hydration: 190%
End pH: around 4

Malt and whole grain flour contain a lot of micro-flora. Fermentation temperature about 40°C prevents growth of yeast. Adding a little amount of vinegar prevents mold growth in the sourdough. At the same time vinegar set up an initial pH of the medium. You need to cover sourdough surface with a food film to prevent contact with air (anaerobic conditions). 

All this factors help to create favorable environment for lactic acid bacteria development. 

After 15 hours of fermentation it makes sense to stir the sourdough to help bacteria to develop. Usually after 24h the sourdough will get pH around 4 and will have sour-sweet taste with lactic acid flavor.

If not, maybe you need to wait a little more. Probability of success is 99%.
If mixture has bitter taste or unpleasant flavor, throw it away and try out another flour, another malt or add a little more vinegar.

Where to get malt? Actually, in the home-brew shops. Buy the grain malt, you can crack it yourself. What to do if you cannot find malt? Than try to use only whole grain rye flour.

General Formula to get CLAS without malt in one step, within only 24-30 hours:

Whole grain rye flour: 100g
Water T. 45°C: 180 ml
Vinegar (5%): 10 ml
Fermentation temperature: 40°C±2°C
Fermentation time: 24-36h
Hydration: 190%
End pH: around 4

It works as well, but probability is around 70-80%. In the US take pumpernickel flour for sure.


concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS) after 24h

If you want to bake rye bread from 1kg flour, right after first step, you may need to prepare a litle bit more of CLAS:

Rye or any other malt: 30g
Whole grain rye flour: 90g
Water T. 45°C: 216 ml
Vinegar (5%): 12 ml
Fermentation temperature: 40°C±2°C
Fermentation time: 24-36h
Hydration: 190%
Total: 348g

Now we can bake bread or we can do one more refreshment to be sure, or perform both steps in parallel as I did in the video.

Usually CLAS will be refreshed 1:9 for 12h at 40°C±2°C. For second stage you do not need malt and vinegar any more. Also you do not need to protect its surface by putting food film on top.

CLAS 33g
Water T. 45°C: 190 ml
Whole grain rye flour: 100g
Fermentation temperature: 40°C±2°C
Fermentation time: 12h
Hydration: 190%
End pH: 3.6-3.8

After first refreshment pH drops to 3.6-3.8 and we will get what is in Russia called concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS)

How to measure pH of sourdough or dough:

  • Take as much of sourdough, that it contains 5g of flour. For CLAS it is 14.5g
  • Add distilled water 100ml
  • Stir
  • Wait 25-20 minutes
  • Stir again
  • Measure pH

pH after 1st refreshment

But even first CLAS can be used for baking rye bread, since pH 4 is completely sufficient for that. That is why you will be able to finalize your first rye bread just within 30h from the starting point! 
Watch the video:







Preservation and refreshment

CLAS can stay in a fridge for 7-14 days and should be periodically refreshed like traditional sourdough.
CLAS requires only one refreshment step, but the temperature should always be 40°C±2°C:

CLAS (from fridge T. +4°C) 33g
Water T. 50°C: 190 ml
Whole grain rye flour: 100g
Fermentation temperature: 40°C±2°C
Fermentation time: 12h
Hydration: 190%

For refreshment you do not need food film any more. After CLAS is refreshed, it can be used for pre-dough or dough or can be placed into fridge. It can even stay at room temperature for 24h, if you are not going to bake right away.
CLAS convinces not only with rapid producing technology, but also with very pleasant taste and flavor of the baked breads. 

How to bake with CLAS?

There are guidelines for bakeries, that have been proved by me and many other Russian hobby bakers since couple of years already. But, first of all, you should not forget, that CLAS is yeast-less, that is why baker yeast should be added (fresh or dry) to the pre-dough or to dough to be able to bake.

Baking Guidelines

Rye bread, containing 80-100% of rye flour

These breads should be baked using refreshed CLAS, not CLAS from fridge.
Refreshing CLAS (usually overnight) => pre-dough => dough

Recipe for 1k of flour:

Pre-dough
CLAS: 290g (100g flour, 190ml water)
Water: 420ml T 33-35°C
Rye flour: 500g
Yeast: 6g fresh or 2g dry
Fermentation time:3h
Fermentation temperature:29°C
Dough
Water: 50-80ml
Salt: 15-20g
Rye flour: 400g (or 200g rye + 200g wheat flour)
Fermentation time:60-90 min
Fermentation temperature:30°C
Final proof: 45-60 min at 32°C
Baking: 10 min at 260°C, then 50 min at 200°C


Example is the 100% rye bread which I baked for this post, watch video above.
or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8Mq5MjhAdU

Rye-wheat breads, containing 50-75% of rye flour

These breads will be baked using refreshed CLAS, not CLAS from fridge.
There are two ways - with pre-dough and without.

Pre-dough method
Refreshing CLAS (usually overnight) => pre-dough => dough

Recipe for 1k of flour
Pre-dough
CLAS: 145g (50g flour, 95ml water)
Water: 500ml T 33-35°C
Rye flour: 550g
Yeast: 6g fresh or 2g dry
Fermentation time:3h
Fermentation temperature:29°C
Dough
Water: 50-70ml
Salt: 15-20g
Wheat flour: 400g (or 100g rye + 300g wheat flour)
Fermentation time:60-90 min
Fermentation temperature:30°C
Final proof: 45-60 min at 32°C
Baking: 10 min at 250°C, then 45 min at 200°C

Direct method (without pre-dough)
Refreshing CLAS (usually overnight) =>dough

Recipe for 1k of flour

Dough
CLAS: 290g (100g flour, 190ml water)
Water T 33-35°C: 430-460ml
Yeast: 6-7g fresh or 2-2.5g dry
Salt: 15-20g
Rye flour: 500g
Wheat flour: 400g
Fermentation time:2,5-3 h
Fermentation temperature:30-32°C
Final proof: 45-60 min at 32°C
Baking: 10 min at 250°C, then 45 min at 200°C


Example is here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TONlkFJ5nw8

Wheat-rye bread, containing 30-40% of rye flour

This breads can be baked using CLAS from fridge without refreshment. CLAS should be just warmed up.

Recipe for 1k of flour
Dough
CLAS: 203g (70g flour, 133ml water)
Water T 33-35°C: 470-500ml
Yeast: 20g fresh or 7g dry
Salt: 15-20g
Rye flour: 230g
Wheat flour: 700g
Fermentation time:1,5 h
Fermentation temperature:30-32°C
Final proof: 45-60 min at 32°C
Baking: 30 min at 250°C, with steam


Example:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0APmmZ-MtWQ

Wheat bread,all-purpose flour or high gluten 

This breads can be baked using CLAS from fridge, without refreshment. CLAS should be just warmed up.

Recipe for 1k of flour

Dough
CLAS: 87-145g (30-50g flour, 57-95 ml water)
Water T 33-35°C: 550ml
Yeast: 20g fresh or 7g dry
Salt: 15-20g
Wheat flour: 950-970g
Fermentation time:1,5 h
Fermentation temperature:30-33°C
Final proof: 45 min at 32°C
Baking: 30 min at 230°C, with steam

For all-purpose wheat flour 3% of the total flour amount is added with CLAS
Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lA7zJxiPEw
For high-gluten wheat flour 5% of the total flour amount is added with CLAS
Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpNqhC5s_Ck
For first clean wheat flour, also only 5% of flour is added with CLAS
Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVRM0cWmkGc

Fresh yeast amount for wheat breads is 2% from the total flour amount. Dry yeast should be added 3 times less as fresh yeast.

Wholemeal wheat bread requires a special technique, explained in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viryDYWyya4

Latvian and Russian breads with scald that require an "old" dough for fermentation

There are many breads with scald, that require an "old" dough for fermentation. For example:

Salinātā rudzu rupjmaize:
or Riga bread

The main problem with direct replacement is, that the whole water for baking should be added to the scald. and adding CLAS directly is impossible due to the fact that the dough hydration will exceed its limit. CLAS has much higher hydration as "old" dough - 190% vs. 65-70%. 
No problem, using CLAS we can make an "old" dough:

"Old" dough with hydration 70% from medium-, dark- or wholemeal rye flour 

CLAS 15% of flour from total flour amount in the "old" dough
recipe for 170g/100g of the "old" dough

CLAS 43,5/26,1 g
flour  85/51,0 g
water  41,5/24,9 ml
salt  2/1,2 g
fresh yeast 0,6/0,4 g
15 hours
27-28 °C

CLAS  - 10% of flour from the total flour amount in the "old" dough
recipe for 170g/100g of the "old" dough

CLAS 29/17,4
flour 90/54
water 51/30,6
salt 2/1,2
yeast 0,6/0,4
18-24 hours
27-28 °C

"Old" dough with hydration 65% from light rye flour

CLAS - 10% of flour from the total flour amount in the "old" dough
recipe for 170g/100g of the "old" dough

CLAS  29/17,4
medium rye flour 90/54
water 46/27,6
salt 2/1,2
fresh yeast 0,6/0,4
12-15 hours
27-28 °C

Due to the long fermentation time, CLAS can be taken directly from fridge and should not be refreshed. You just need to pre-warm it to be able to setup an initial temperature of the "old" dough.

For all guidelines you should consider temperature and time guidelines not only for CLAS, but at any stage, otherwise you will fail!


Some other guidelines

CLAS starter is always refreshed using whole grain rye flour (at least dark rye flour) independent from which bread you are going to bake.
Starting from second or third refreshment, CLAS could rise in size. It happens not because of yeast activity, but because some lactic acid bacteria are heterofermentative, that means they are able to produce CO2.
Doubling size after 6h of fermentation
It happens in 80% of cases.

Advantages of using CLAS

  • Easy to get, just in 24h
  • Bread quality is usually better as with traditional sourdough and close to the professional ones
  • Wheat and wheat-rye breads can be baked within 3.5 hours, using CLAS from fridge, and have a quality of high-end breads made with pre-dough or long fermentation methods
  • Self-preservation makes it possible to keep CLAS for 48h at room temperature

I bake only using CLAS last time, this play list on my YouTube channel contains CLAS breads recipes from me:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrSg5cYpPtU96v2LWR9rETxWDEHe3iIcj
I'm looking forward to translate them into English soon.
This playlist contains all translated recipes from me, recipes with CLAS are marked (CLAS)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrSg5cYpPtU_NKto2xtoRpVtRsVs7kJq0

Post in Russian is here:
https://brotgost.blogspot.com/2017/08/iii.html

4 комментария:

  1. Rus, Yippee shared your information with me and I must say I am intriqued. Do you foresee any problems using the CLAS in my final dough, but instead of using yeast, using sourdough levain instead?

    Thanks for sharing...
    Dan Ayo
    USA

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    Ответы
    1. Hi Dan!
      In order to bake bread the dough should be "infected" with lactic acid bacteria and yeast cells.
      Depending on the bread type, proportion between them is different. For rye bread more lactic acid bacteria cells is required and for wheat bread more yeast cells.
      Using CLAS it is easy to get a proper proportion, since we can easy control the number of cells.
      Traditional sourdough contains cells of both types in the random proportion. If you would add traditional sourdough along with CLAS, the dough will have too less yeast cells and too much lactic acid bacteria, as result insufficient lifting power and sour taste.
      Of course, technically it is possible to bake with CLAS and without bakers yeast. For that you just need to get a collection of the yeast cells, free of lactic acid bacteria. Very common way for that is hops yeast, which uses the fact, that hop kills lactic acid bacteria
      Usually you will need about 36h to get hops yeast:
      http://brotgost.blogspot.com/2016/04/hmelzakwaska.html
      Then it is possible to mix them with CLAS, but the question is what for? Since traditional sourdough already contains a mixture of both.
      The main advantage of the CLAS is ability to control acidity and lifting power of the dough in very simple way. For doing that with traditional sourdough you need to apply, sometimes very complicated refreshment schemes, or also add bakers yeast.
      May I ask a question why do you hate bakers yeast?
      Maybe bear yeast of wild strains would be an option?

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