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Lately I've been making a lot of no-knead bread, not out of laziness, just love the crustiness and rich flavor.

I was thinking about trying to make a loaf but use wine for some of the liquid because I'm interested to see how it would flavor it. But I'm worried that the wine will do something to the yeast. Too acidic, maybe? I'm not really sure. Would it ruin everything? What do you suggest?

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What do you want your bread to taste like? Tannins? Grapes? Become more sour? Using a liquid doesn't add all that much taste to wine, bread with vegetable juice as the liquid tends to taste like water-made bread and bread with milk has a richer feeling due to the fat, but doesn't taste like milk. So you can't get a bread which tastes like wine, you will only have some of the most assertive aromas or tastes present. Which ones do you want to preserve, and have you considered other sources? – rumtscho Jan 30 '14 at 19:31
I am not trying to emphasize any flavor on particular, just an experiment. I'm more wondering about whether I need to alter the proportions of other ingredients to respond to physical/chemical effects that the wine might have, since my current formula yields a structure that is ideal. Sorry that I didn't make that more clear. – src Jan 30 '14 at 21:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The wine will bring several things to the breadmaking party:

  • Acidity
  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Flavoring
  • Color (especially if it is red wine)

The biggest of these is the alcohol which is a yeast byproduct--they don't like it in their environment, and it inhibits their growth. The acidity can do the same. Proofing will be retarded, and you may need a larger starting quantity of yeast than for a wineless loaf.

You would also have to adjust the amount of liquid in the formula to account for that from the wine. Your bread would probably take on a strange mauve color, after being baked, and may have some hint of winey flavor.

I think the lack of well known wine-loaves in the world's baking traditions indicates this does not generally work out very well, although there are some recipes for yeast raise breads containing wine such as Sourdough Cranberry Wine Bread from The Fresh Loaf.

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