Kefir sourdough bread

Kefir sourdough bread makes for a more digestible and tasty loaf.

If you really want to enjoy nutritious and scrumptious bread, then quit buying that from the supermarket, purchase a small oven and start baking your own.

Before rushing out, consider first that the bread-oven is apparently the most underutilised appliance in the kitchen. That means you can get them cheaply secondhand but it also acts as a caution; do you really love the taste of good food enough to go through the schlep?

Kefir sourdough bread

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 13th May, 2021.

It takes me about five-minutes to prepare the kefir and the same to make the dough; ten in all. I consider it time well spent for the great flavour and superior nutrition; and the fact it doesn't give me a bellyache because the gluten issue is dealt with.

Can you and will you make ten minutes several days a week to bake the best bread in the world?

Let's face it, supermarket bread is awful; that is why you have to cover it with jelly, or worse processed-meat. It is a recipe for raised blood glucose, diabetes and metastatic disease.

Kefir is a wonderful probiotic that improves the wellness of your colon by providing millions of good bacteria and yeasts to ferment the resistant starch that in part evades digestion in the small bowel, reaching the large-intestine instead; that gives you much less of a blood glucose surge.

You are in essence producing kurds and whey; you drink the latter, but the former build up and need to be shared with friends. We also use it to add protein to our kefir sourdough bread; it improves the fermentation and lowers the glycemic index. That makes it less fattening too.

Four processes occur in the dough.

  1. Enzymes and yeast act aerobically on the starch in the flour producing carbon-dioxide and water; air is needed.
  2. When the oxygen is depleted deep in the dough, the yeasts change over to anaerobic fermentation, still producing carbon-dioxide, but ethanol not water.
  3. The bacteria in the sourdough take it a step further by metabolising the sugars from the starch to lactic and acetic-acid, for example.
  4. The bacteria predigest the gluten in the dough.

This fermentation of the maltose in the dough gives it more flavour and the sour taste. It is enhanced by the addition of fructose; we do this by adding honey. These acids delay gastric emptying too; you feel satiated sooner.

The Chorleywood process that is used by large bakeries enhances the operation by using high-speed mixing; this limits the anaerobic fermentation that gives your homemade loaf so much more flavour, instead producing the tasteless supermarket bread that we are all so familiar with.

In addition it reduces the time needed to digest the proline in gluten that so many are intolerant of. Unlike the other amino acids it has a ring structure that is more resistant to enzyme action. Fragments of protein are left undigested causing an allergic reaction in the lining of the intestine.

Don't give up bread; rather make your own sourdough. And add some kefir for yet better digestion of the gluten.

Learn more about the meaning of gluten.

Kefir sourdough bread

Kefir sourdough bread enables better gluten tolerance and is one good way to use up any excess whey when preparing your own probiotic; and gives a softer crumb also.

You could use the curds too, and I do sometimes but really it is better to share it with friends and family; and remember that the bugs will ferment the dough but then they are killed by the baking. Bread like this is what we call a prebiotic; the fibre in the whole grain that feeds the microbiome.

So in addition, separately make your own sourdough culture; it is so simple.

One final point is worth considering. Just as it makes little sense to build a beautiful home on a poorly situated piece of ground, so we should take the time to locate the best ingredients for making your kefir sourdough bread; that means 100% stone-ground wheat flour.

The ingredients are:

  1. 700ml 100% stone-ground flour.
  2. 300ml unchlorinated-water in which you have dissolved 1 tsp of salt,
  3. 1 tsp of honey.
  4. 1/2 cup of sourdough starter, see more below.
  5. 2 TBSP kefir whey.
  6. 1 TBSP of butter or coconut-oil.
  7. 1/2 tsp dried yeast.

Add the ingredients in this order to the baking-tin. First the honey and fat, and then the kefir whey and starter culture; now half the flour and wiggle the paddle.

Then add the salt water and the rest of the flour. Lightly cover the surface with a tablespoon of flour and spread the yeast over the surface. Put the baking-tin into the little electric oven.

If you are gluten intolerant you should keep it overnight or even for a whole day before adding the yeast; that will allow time for the offending proline short-chain fragments to be fermented.

Next morning add the dried yeast and pop the baking tin into the oven. In five hours you will have the most delicious kefir sourdough bread.

If the loaf sinks, add a little less water; it may also do this from over-development of the dough if you delay putting the baking tin directly into the oven. If you prefer a moist loaf and it is too dry for your liking, use rather more. You will have to experiment.

You may want to add more honey. I do because I am a beekeeper, for the fructose that will enhance the fermentation and make the loaf marginally sweeter but also more sour. Most of the sugars are turned to flavoursome organic-acids.

Kefir in a colanderKefir being strained in a colander


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Delayed salt

Salt delays the development of the gluten in your dough; adding it at the beat-down stage, stirred into the butter, means that less mixing or kneading will be necessary in general.

That technique requires less disturbance of the inner part of the dough where there is no oxygen and encourages better anaerobic fermentation. But you do have to be omnipresent, and not forgetful; bread without salt is rather dull.

Frankly I've given up on the delayed salt method; it makes for a less pleasant crumb.

Take home

Kefir sourdough bread has much more flavour, the gluten is better tolerated by the gut and it has a lower glycemic index; it produces less of a blood sugar surge. If feeds the microbiome, those friendly bugs that are proving so important for our overall wellness.

Once you are in the rhythm it takes only ten-minutes of actual work, to prepare the kefir, mill the flour and then mix the dough. I do it every day.

These kefir benefits act as a probiotic.

I strongly urge you to consider using only home bake bread flour. It will probably mean purchasing your own mill.

If you purchase the grain directly from the farmer then you can have the flour at a quarter of the price or less; it means learning about storing wheat berries.


The beauty of kefir sourdough bread is that it is so tasty you really don't need anything on it except perhaps butter or olive-oil. Having said that, it is occasionally makes a change to enjoy with natural honey; this fermented peppadew sauce gives it just a little bite, and adds live probiotics.

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