If you're wondering how to add coffee to sourdough bread, you've come to the right place.
In fact, you might even be wondering if you can even add coffee to sourdough bread?
The answer is yes! You absolutely can add coffee to sourdough bread.
And it's actually easier than you might think!
What Does Coffee Do To Sourdough Bread?
Coffee can be added for a variety of reasons, but most importantly for flavor.
Coffee is a rich beverage made from roasted beans that can have a wide range of flavor profiles.
Adding coffee to sourdough bread brings a rich, rounded flavoring.
Coffee can enhance the flavor of chocolate in your bread so it is often used in chocolate sourdough recipes.
Even if you don't actually like the flavor of coffee itself, it can really round out a chocolate loaf. You probably won't even taste the coffee flavor, just a richer, bolder chocolate.
Rye bread often has coffee added both for flavor and color. The dark liquid can add a rich, bold flavor and color to these loaves.
How To Add Coffee To Sourdough Bread
There are a few different methods you can use to add coffee to sourdough bread. Each method will impart a different level of flavor.
- You can swap the water in your recipe for coffee. So if you need to add 350g of water, you would add 350g of coffee.
- You could soak dried fruit in some espresso coffee. It's up to you whether you would then add the soaking liquid or just the soaked fruit. Fruits like dates, raisins, figs and blueberries can be treated in this way.
Sourdough Recipes Using Coffee
There are many sourdough recipes that use coffee to bring a richer flavor to the bread. Here are some examples of how you can use coffee in your sourdough baking:
- Coffee & Maple Infused Date Sourdough Bread (this is soooo good!!)
- Chocolate & Walnut Sourdough Bread (uses instant coffee powder)
- Chocolate Sourdough Discard Bread (swap the water for espresso coffee)
- Fluffy Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls (add a shot of espresso coffee to the milk)
- Easy Whole Wheat Rye Sourdough (swap the water for espresso coffee).
Does Coffee Affect Fermentation of Sourdough?
The caffeine found in coffee does have a negative effect on yeast, meaning that it will inhibit the activity of the yeast in your sourdough starter.
Because of this, you need to make sure that you don't overpower the yeast with caffeine.
Adding a few teaspoons of instant coffee or a shot or two of espresso should not have a major effect on your dough.
However, you may find that you get a more closed crumb than normal - and this is more than likely due to the yeast being suppressed by the caffeine.
When using coffee, it can be helpful to add some vital wheat gluten to the dough to ensure good gluten development. This will improve the final result of your sourdough.
You will also need to ensure that the coffee solution is not hot, but just warm or room temp so as not to completely kill off the yeast in your starter.
Instant or Espresso?
It's really up to your individual preferences as to whether you use instant coffee powder or espresso.
If you're using instant coffee powder, you'll need to dissolve it into the water or milk before adding to your recipe. Most recipes will give you the amount to include.
If you're using espresso, be sure to adjust the liquid amount.
For example you could use 2 shots of espresso coffee in a loaf of sourdough, but you'd need to add it to the water.
So if each shot of espresso was 40g, you'd add 80g of espresso and then make the rest up in water (so this would be 270g of water if you're using my simple sourdough recipe).
Can You Add Coffee Liqueur To Sourdough?
You could add coffee liqueur like Kahlua to sourdough if you wanted to.
Just remember that from the yeast's point of view, alcohol is actually a waste product (think about the hooch that your starter produces when it's hungry).
So you don't want to add too much liqueur because it will end up killing the yeast by starving them of actual food.
The alcohol content will evaporate when the sourdough is baked in the oven.
The coffee flavor from the liqueur will not be as strong as if you used actual coffee, but it will still be there.
Can You Add Coffee To Your Sourdough Starter?
Short answer - no. You should not add coffee to your sourdough starter.
As mentioned above, the caffeine in coffee will actually inhibit the growth of the yeast.
It is also quite acidic, so will alter the pH level of your sourdough starter which will affect the good bacteria.
Overall, these changes to your starter will do more harm than good.
There's really no need to add the coffee to your starter - save it for a special dough.
If you want to make a "flavored" sourdough starter, try adding cocao powder for a chocolate sourdough starter.
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