Cultured wheat is a powerful ingredient for any baker’s toolbox. Here is a strong preservative that is natural, allowing you to have a solid shelf life without chemicals like sorbates or benzoates.
Here’s why you should bake with cultured wheat:
- Fights bacteria, yeast and molds
How does preserve products?
Wheat flour is fermented with P. freudenreichii, which is usually found in dairy products. However, it is highly effective in bread products as well. It is based on active compounds, such as propionic, acetic and 3- phenyllactic acids, as well as bacteriocins.
The suppressive action slows the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and some Pseudomonas species in both acidic and pH neutral conditions. Not only that, but you can make vegan, kosher or all-natural products that still taste good! Cultured wheat doesn’t alter the flavor, texture or color in baked goods. It does, however, improve your shelf life just as much as commonly-used preservatives do.
How is it different than sourdough?
Isn’t cultured wheat just the same thing as a sourdough? Not quite. Sourdough is a mix of water and flour that’s been fermented with lactic acid bacteria (LAB), along with acetic acid. This is what gives sourdough that distinct flavor.
However, although the process is similar, cultured wheat is used as a preservative, not a flavor enhancement.
Read all about cultured wheat and how to use it here.