Bacillus & Bread Question

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Bacillus & Bread Question

Postby DrBarton on Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:42 pm

Folks:

Bacillus natto and B. subtilis are used, primarily, to ferment legumes and (natto particularly) are famous for the mucilage that they produce. However, when they get into bread dough, they are considered a spoilage microbe as the mucilage produces a "ropy" defect in the dough.

My question is this, does anyone know if ropy dough is used in some culinary circles? It occurred to me that the ropiness would be a defect in baked bread but might be useful in steamed breads. Interestingly, (I believe that) steaming is the primary means of cooking bread in many of the same cultures that developed an appreciation for bacillus-fermented legumes. Is it possible that bread steaming was developed and focused upon because kitchens in which natto was prepared had too high an incidence of bread ropiness to make baked bread practical?

I'm thinking of adding a little natto to a dough ferment and steaming it to test out this theory but I'm curious if anyone, here, has experimented with this yet.
DrBarton
 
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Re: Bacillus & Bread Question

Postby Christopher Weeks on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:29 am

I have no idea, but would be interested in reading about your experiments if no one turns up with a definitive answer!
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Re: Bacillus & Bread Question

Postby DrBarton on Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:16 pm

I finally got around to my test. I put a half serving of natto in the basic flour for a steam bun recipe (minus the yeast) and let it sit overnight. The next day, I proofed some yeast. Added it, the milk, the sugar, etc. Kneaded until smooth (about 15 min). Let sit and rise ~3 hours. Made ~32 medium small balls of dough (should have been a little larger and only ~18). Lightly oiled surface of balls then let sit for ~2 hours until it they doubled in size. Finally, steamed for ~8 minutes.

The taste was pretty good. A little heartier than basic white flour steam buns. I didn't notice any roapiness but this is definitely an interesting alternate bread ferment.
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