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Dec 2, 2006 10:31 PM

Food scientist input Re: No knead bread with eggs

Concerned with the safety of bread dough using long rise and addition of eggs as a modification to the basic recipe.

Any science types with an opinion?

Anecdotal comments, while interesting may not provide necessary answer.


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  1. I'm not a scientist, but I have read widely about baking. The problem with the eggs is the possibility of bacteria contamination, as I understand it. A long fermentation at room temperature gives salmonella a good environment for multiplying. Similarly, raw honey, because of the many enzymes it contains, is not a good idea in breads requiring a long rise. (That from a manual on whole grain flours.)

    1. Eggs are not widely used in artisan breads. Usually an enriched bread would also have butter. It also would have a much shorter rise.

      Why do you want to add eggs?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Becca Porter

        The texture of the no knead bread is the type I like. Just like grandma's. Rusin/Czech heritage. I've made her recipe forever but requires extensive kneading. With my current physical disabilities I'd like to add eggs, if safe, to dupicate the flavor of her recipe with the very successful no knead recipe/technique. The no knead stuff allows me to bake great tasting bread again, even with my current disability. Basic recipe, with cheddar cheese and rye/whole wheat/molasses have been satisfactory. The Rye is not the expected texture of a normal rye but I was just going for the taste. Quite nice.

      2. I have never made the Lehay bread recipe, so I'm not sure how the recipe would have to be modified to allow the addition of eggs and the higher fat content, but the salmonella would be long dead before the bread had reached the 200-210F temperature that is common for yeast breads.

        The texture is the bread would be changed when you add the eggs. Eggs are high in fat and the texture would be closer to that of brioche after the eggs.

        Salmonella bacteria is killed at 165F, and you could use pasteurized eggs to eliminate the slight risk of a infected egg.
        I hope this helps.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kelli2006

          Hey, that pasteurized eggs sounds like a great idea! Thanks!

          Another thing you might try is to combine the salt and sugar with the beaten egg first, before incorporation into the dry ingredients. The high osmotic stress should kill off the bacteria, but don't come looking for me if goes awry! :-O The only problem may be that the salt and sugar will break down some of the egg protein if this matters at all.

        2. I would still be leery of eggs in a long rise. It isn't simply a question of whether bacteria is alive. It is also a question of the toxins they leave behind. Aside from that, table sugar (sucrose) is hygroscopic, so it competes with yeast for moisture, although it might not make a big difference in a dough this wet. But if you go the sugar route, you are better off using honey (not raw--the enzymes in it should be denatured before a long, slow ferment) or an osmotolerant yeast. But really, if you are going to enrich a loaf like that, you are better off following a recipe for an egg bread, like challah. It can be kneaded in a food processor in 45 seconds. That's not a lot of work.