After making yogurt (or cheese) you're going to have a bunch of a golden liquid called whey.  I'm a big fan of homemade bread so when I heard that you could use whey to enhance bread I decided I needed to try it the next time I made yogurt.

The benefits of using whey for making bread are a better rising time, better crusts and flavor, and a firmer texture.

I made my first batch earlier in the week and we ate it so quickly that I didn't get a chance to take pictures.  I'll try to make some more later on and post pictures this time.

I found that the crust and texture of this bread was excellent and it rose very nicely in a fairly short period of time.

Here's the recipe I'm trying this time:

  • 3/4 cup whey
  • 1 packets dry active yeast (3 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
The above makes one loaf.  Simply scale things up by the number of loaves you'd like to make.  (2 loaves would be 1 and 1/2 cups whey, 2 packets yeast, etc).

  1. Proof the yeast:  Heat the your whey to 110 F and add your yeast.  Cover with a cloth and let sit while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. In a mixing bowl add half of your flour, the butter, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs
  4. Add the warm proofed yeast
  5. Mix until it forms a dough ball.  If the mixture is too wet to form a ball add a little flour until things start to stay together.
  6. Flour a cutting board or some other surface and turn the dough ball out onto it.
  7. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes
  8. Grease a large bowl with butter or oil and place the dough in the bowl.  Turn it a few times to cover in oil.
  9. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 to 2 hours.
  10. Punch the dough down and divide into loaves. 
  11. Cover loaves and allow them to rise for another hour.
  12. Heat oven to 425 F and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and turn out onto backing rack to cool
  14. Enjoy!

I too have had a good experience adding yogurt bacteria to the dough. A great way of getting a faux sourdough without having to keep a pet alive.

For an extra bold flavor, you can leave double ferment dough overnight. Then just pound down the resulting swollen bubbly mass one more time and rise once more. Maybe even slow rise over a day or so in the fridge or someplace cool.

Once, I think one of my overnight batches started going alcoholic. It had very strong fumes coming from it in the morning. Once I baked it, it had an earthy, molasses tasting type of character. Held its moisture almost as good as a sourdough.