Kefir Bread

Bread Baked

My journey into Sourdough making has been a slow one. I received my culture package in the mail from Carl’s a while ago, but have been wanting to wait till I have a secure, dependable supply of organic flours to start my own. I know that single cell yeast breads are not the best for my family, so when a friend shared her kefir bread recipe, I jumped right to it. The hardest part of this recipe, has been keeping up with my family’s demand!

We make kefir daily, out of our own cows and goats milk. I prefer the cow’s milk kefir for saving whey to ferment with, and for mixing with the flour in this recipe. I prefer the goat kefir for drinking, though. It is so smooth and flavourful.

Kefir Bread Collage
Kefir Bread
3 cups flour
3 cups kefir
Mix these together well, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm area. After twelve to twenty-four hours the dough should be liquidy and bubbly.
Bread Rising
At this point beat the dough well and add:
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
3 cups of flour
Beat this together well and knead in enough flour by hand to make a soft dough. When it will hold the shape of a loaf, divide the dough into two piles. Shape the loaves and place them into two well-greased loaf pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise. When the bread rises to the top of the pans, pop it into a preheated 350F oven for about 30 minutes. The crust will be quite brown, and if you knock on the bottom, the loaves will sound hollow.

We have adapted this recipe over time, and are very happy with this variation on the original recipe.

Whole Grain Spelt Variation
5 cups spelt flour
3 cups kefir
Mix well together, it may be hard to stir, you may want to knead. Let sit overnight. The next day add
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp raw sugar or 1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
Mix/knead well and place in two well-greased loaf pans. Grease with butter or good lard, coconut oil does not work. Cover loosely and place in a warm place to rise. It usually rises well to the top of the pans, but in the cold weather it will sometimes only increase by about a half. Bake at 350F until done, loaves will sound hollow. We have began using an aluminum free baking soda and have since decreased the baking soda to 1 tsp, or it is too much and we can taste it, which is quite interesting.

Comment

  1. That bread looks so good! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for posting this recipe!

    Sharon · May 16, 11:45 PM · #

  2. That really looks great! I’m on my way too. I am trying dark organic rye flour. It looks a little strange but – I’m giving it my best. Thanks for the support and all the little pep talks.
    Karen

    — Karen · May 17, 02:30 AM · #

  3. Tried this recipe-bloody amazing!

    — Monica · Feb 22, 04:38 AM · #

  4. Thanks so much for the recipe! I just made it yesterday and it turned out great! I was surprised how tasty it was without any salt. It really doesn’t need it. :)

    My dough wasn’t liquidy and bubbly after I made it. I was a little worried that maybe something went wrong, but since the bread was so delicious I guess there was nothing to worry about. :) Thanks again! sheila

    sheila · Apr 18, 06:44 AM · #

  5. Hi,
    just came across your site. I see you added another 3 cups of flour to your starter mix to make it less liquidy. From my understanding of soaking flours, you only need enough kefir (or any acidic medium) to combine all the flour together into a ball.
    Yesterday I started soaking 3 cups of whole wheat flour with 1 1/4 cup of kefir and today it has risen beautifully. And there is no need to add extra flour, so I get all the benefits of eating a soaked and nutritionally better bread than with unsoaked flour.

    Lots of info on the web about why soaking allows the flour to be more nutritionally complete than unsoaked flours/grains.

    Good luck n keep on baking! :)

    — Lily · Jan 11, 11:52 PM · #

  6. Can water kefir be used in place of the milk kefir in this recipe?

    — Tina · Jun 3, 12:17 AM · #

  7. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    I have often wished I had a use for my extra homemade kefir (besides the dog) and this is a great “soaked” flour recipe!

    Also, thanks to Lily for the suggestion of using only the risen dough without extra flour. The butter in the recipe makes it so you don’t really need the extra flour as it keeps the dough from sticking.

    I have it rising in pans now and it smells dreamy!

    — Sally Jo · Sep 5, 08:56 PM · #

  8. This is wonderful – I’ve been so intimidated by sour dough that it perpetually stays on my “to do” list — but this looks like something I could do! :)
    I like Lily’s idea of having all the flour soaked – my question is do I half all of the other ingredients or leave them at their current quantity?
    Thanks!

    — elaine · Sep 12, 05:32 PM · #

  9. Do you soak sprouted flour? Or are you just soaking? And where are you getting your flour from? I would love to start making more bread but in in the same delima about flour.

    Amy · Sep 12, 09:54 PM · #

  10. Love this recipe! I was expecting the loaf I made with wholewheat to be a bit heavy but it turned out perfect. My family love it and it’s a great way to use up my extra kefir. Thank you!

    — Eileen · Oct 12, 04:34 PM · #

  11. I’m with Elaine regarding Lily’s idea, however we need Lily’s complete recipe please help us Lily !!!!!!!!!!

    — sylvia · Dec 1, 03:14 AM · #

  12. Just some updates.
    -no you cannot use water kefir
    -you don’t have to soak sprouted grains
    -if you soak all the ingredients it does work.
    Thanks for all the support!!!!

    — debbie · Dec 29, 07:24 PM · #

  13. Finally, got what I was looking for!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. Glad I stumbled into this blog post! smile I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you article. dd1

    flash chat · Jan 30, 01:12 PM · #

  14. this is really frustrating!! I got past the first 24 hours, kneaded in the last 3 cups of flour, salt, sugar, butter and soda. Dough felt right, so I buttered the bread pans put the dough inside and it never raised. It actually turned dark. I baked it anyway, hoping that it would work in the oven by raising. Well, it didn’t. What happened? Does it need to have a very very warm place to raise. Our home is always at the least 65 degrees. What am I doing wrong??? Also it had NO flavor. More salt? what can I do?

    — mimi · Apr 4, 06:44 AM · #

  15. That is frustrating. I have a few questions for you though and suggestions.
    -we have only soaked overnight instead of the 24 hours with success. I will add that to the recipe now.
    -what is your kefir source? Is it storebought?
    -we have had dark spots in the bread from the baking soda but never the whole thing. It didn’t impart a weird flavor at all.
    -I don’t add salt and salt actually stop yeast from rising which is why it is used in yeast recipes as a control.
    -when it is under 72 in our house I try and let it rise in the oven with the light on.

    Please keep the feedback coming so this helps others with potential problems.

    debbie · Apr 4, 08:26 PM · #

  16. Does the high temp kill the good bacteria in the kefir!!

    — Julie Martin · Jul 28, 04:22 AM · #

  17. Thanks for the recipe. I soaked overnight and baked the bread in the late morning I was worried because I added more flour at the end and the dough still seemed loose (I didn’t measure the kefir though I relied on the canning jar it was in). I scraped it in the bread pans and it came out perfect. My kids ate an entire loaf fresh out the oven. We ended up only having a 1/2 loaf left for supper.

    — Michelle · Aug 26, 05:40 AM · #

  18. That is so nice to hear. I get really excited when children are more than willing to eat healthy foods.

    debbie · Aug 27, 01:03 AM · #

  19. The actual internal temp of the bread is only about 150F so while we might kill some we won’t kill all. The positive is that we aren’t feeding our families yeast that has GMO’s and other unwanted things in it.

    debbie · Aug 27, 01:06 AM · #

  20. How many cups of Starter would you say you use with this recipe? In other sourdough recipes, you typically reserve a portion of your starter for the next round. I would suspect about 1.5 C Starter to 3 C Flour, but that is just a suspicion.

    I’m looking forward to making this, I just had a bowl of counter-top starter go bad and this is my do-over with a T of neglected refrigerator starter and the overflow of milk kefir I have.

    Thanks!

    — Clair · Sep 12, 11:44 PM · #

  21. We don’t reserve starter with this recipe. If you experiment let us know how it goes. We do make true sourdough and that post would be
    http://chikouskyfarms.com/textpattern/index.php?event=article&step=edit&ID=24

    debbie · Sep 13, 01:01 AM · #

  22. Huge success!! Wow! I’m so impressed! I’ve been searching for “sandwich” bread that was not yeasted, and soaked, sprouted, soured, cultured or otherwise Nourishing Traditions-style. So far, everything I’ve made has been dense, very sour, and not at all like Mrs.Baird’s. That presents a real problem in school lunches because it drys out. THIS bread finally did it right!!

    I made this exactly as written with All-Purpose organic, unbromated, unbleached white flour. Next time, I’ll try it with a portion whole wheat (probably the soaked portion). And, I’d like to play around with soaking the whole thing, just adding the baking soda, sugar, and butter after the first rise.

    Thank you so much for this! It was making me crazy…

    — Clair · Sep 14, 12:54 AM · #

  23. Hi, I am so glad I found your website. My first bread batch is in the oven and the aroma is heavenly, even with my mistakes.I added the 2nd flour before the other ingredients, so they were a lot harder to incorporate. That’s probably why my dough rose just a little but never made it to the top – so I finally baked it anyway.

    If it tastes anywhere as great as it smells, then I am hooked – doing it correctly next time, of course.

    Okay, the bread is cooling now. I couldn’t wait with cutting into one and noticed that the crust was rather hard and crunchy. Is there a way to make it less so? Thanks

    — helga · Sep 30, 03:46 PM · #

  24. I made this yesterday with my kefir that I made from grains from Ohio. The bread is delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    — Jen Greenlaw · Oct 9, 07:54 PM · #

  25. I’M VEGAN SO MY KEFIR IS MADE WITH SOY MILK I WILL TRY THIS RECIPE I HAVE MY OWN KEFIR EVERYDAY..IMPORTANT ANIMALS MILK IS ACIDIC FOR OUR BODY SO I SAVE THE MILK FOR BABIES ANIMALS NO FOR ME…THANKS AND THINK YOURSELF

    — CLAUDIA · May 15, 08:27 PM · #

  26. I have a question for Lily, did you add the same amount of everything else as the recipe stated but not the last 3 cups of flour? I want to make this today.
    Thanks for the use for kefir I hope this works out.

    — Vivian Joanne Heyob · Jul 22, 03:21 PM · #

  27. Hi, I was just wondering if you could use this for different flours like Spelt, Einkhorn or possibly with some gluten free flours? thanks.

    — Margaret · Jul 31, 06:34 AM · #

  28. I’m such a novice but eager to try this recipe with Kefir that my husband bought by accident. When the recipe says “Beat this together well …” does that mean beat it with a mixer? Or do I need some kind of appliance with a bread hook (which i don’t have).

    Thanks. Eager to try this and maybe I’ll start buying kefir on purpose. The reviews are great.

    — Mary · Aug 7, 09:41 PM · #

  29. Hi,

    Is there a chance I could do this with Gluten free…using gluten freeflours and adding a gluten frre recipe but soaking the flours and using the kefir for the liquid and adding remainder ingredients as in you recipe. On the up side, I plan to make the recipe as written for my family.

    Thanks

    — Bernie · Aug 19, 02:53 PM · #

  30. There is no need to use baking soda if kefir is used. I have made sour dough bread from kefir and a just water based sour dough starter and NEVER used baking soda.

    Christel from New Zealand

    — Christel · Sep 1, 07:12 PM · #

  31. If you added salt to the recipe, would it kill the yeast action?

    No, it won't. I just don't appreciate the bread with salt added since the baking soda is a sodium product. Our family doesn't think it is necessary for flavor. Debbie

    — Judi · Oct 25, 11:47 AM · #

  32. I am gluten sensitive and an allergy to yeast I bought freeze dried kefir with hopes to rise my gluten free flour please help

    Teresa · Nov 29, 03:56 PM · #

  33. I have used this recipe with buckwheat flours with great results. If you need live grains to make your own kefir please let me know. We ship them out to people.

    — debbie · Nov 29, 06:23 PM · #

  34. When you say “beat the dough”, do you knead it by hand? How long does it take to reach the top of the loaf pan? Is that about doubling in size? Thanks!

    Frank

    — Frank · Feb 14, 11:20 AM · #

  35. Hi,
    We beat it with a spoon but whatever you are comfortable would work. The time it takes to rise would be dependant on how warm your room is. Usually at about 70F we have it out for about six hours but it can go a lot faster so you have to watch. Yes, this would be about double. Have a great day!

    — Debbie · Feb 14, 01:46 PM · #

  36. Yes, your 3 cups of kefir and 3 cups of flour for kefir bread, is that water or milk kefir? Thanks!

    — frank · Feb 14, 03:26 PM · #

  37. We have only ever used milk kefir

    — Debbie · Feb 14, 06:48 PM · #

  38. When you say 3 cups of kefir…do you mean the whey that has been separated from the milk or the kefir itself?

    — Esther Cazorla · Mar 6, 01:10 PM · #

  39. I would be interested to know the same thing. Have you tried making the bread using the Kefir granules? or just the milk Kefir?

    We have so many of the milk kefir granules I’m looking for something to do with them.

    — Michael · May 6, 01:50 PM · #

  40. I haven’t used the grains to cook with at all.

    debbie · May 6, 04:24 PM · #

  41. Hi, Just fyi I used water kefir to make this (ds has milk allergy) and it works just fine :) and makes better bread than i ever managed with store bought yeast :)

    Deb- That is excellent. I have actually wondered about this since learning lately that water kefir does actually contain beneficial yeasts.

    — Kathryn · May 7, 02:11 AM · #

  42. Can I use just the whey when making bread

    Yes you can. We have even just rinsed jars and had success lately. Deb

    — Margie smith · Jun 12, 07:32 AM · #

  43. If you make a kefir bread with regular white flour can a person with gluten intolerance actually eat this bread. I read somewhere that sourdough bread (fermented for long enough) made it so it can be eaten by gluten intolerent people. anyone know ?

    Reply I don't recommend anyone eat regular unorganic flours. They contain Bromide and L-cysteine and other nasties but if that is all you have then you could try it. I have better success with using buckwheat for gluten sensitive people though. Deb

    — sylvia · Jun 17, 12:50 PM · #

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