Rice Koji mold used to ferment bread

Graham's picture

I was interested to see that one of our new Artisan Baker Association members, Oheso Cafe (Japan), are using koji mold in their bread. 

Not certain of the other components and whether or not koji is the only leavening ingredient used. The following quote (and pic) is from the baker's blog: http://franccastella.com/oheso-cafe/

In Oheso Cafe try to provide full food naturally grown, traditional and of course 100% organic. Our menu is focused on bread and bread products, our bread is cooked with natural enzymes from rice Koji mold exactly, used in Japan to make miso, sake, Amasake and numerous products of the fermentation of the fungus soybeans, rice.

This is a beautiful looking place.....

(the bread looks fantastic too)

Photo of bread at Oheso Cafe, by http://franccastella.com/oheso-cafe/

428 users have voted.


franc.castella.romeu 2012 June 8

 Koji exactly is a mold that eat rice/steamed rice, I cultivated like a sourdough but I feed with rice powder, and whole wheat, both I cultivate in my fields.

Sourdough it`s "sour" and Koji mold starter it`s few "alcoholic"。

I`m still investigating about koji and a mixtures with sourdough, in Japan market there are a "natural leaven" (dry) that the ingredients are sourdough, wheat, rice and koji and have a very good balance flavor, few sour, not alcoholic, and no need feed for one week, it`s keep in fridge and always enough powerful. I think only we need found the correct proportions.

presiyan's picture
presiyan 2013 October 9

Greetings, I have been a reader for a few years and recently made an account to join this amazing community :) 
I am replying here because I am making naturally leavened bread with several different sourdoughs. One normal from flour and water, one based on traditional sour bulgarian yogurt, one based ot "Nuruk" this is similar to Koji in some ways but with korean origin, also honey based and fruit based.
I think the fermentation process that could eventually make bread is really complex and it could be triggered with different ingrediants.

Really interesting topic!

Btw, about me, my name is Presiyan from Bulgaria. Currently working in a Pastry-Bakery, but preparing my very own bakery for coming spring :)) 

Keep on baking,

GurkanYeniceri 2013 October 17

Koji fungi is aspergillus, it is a lot different then S. Cerevisia and does not produce CO2. I am guessing that in his starter, there must be other mold, bacteria etc to do the work and given that it has been fed with organically grown whole wheat and rice, it does have S. Cerevisia in it too.

On the other hand, Koji fungi can be used to make camembert cheese instead of P or G Candidum. In fact, one of the episodes of Will Studd's Cheese Slices was showing this where they visit a dairy in Japan.

kuki.............. 2018 August 14

i made bread with koji.  it was very delicious. :) but it takes much longer then bread with only sour doug. 

Ana West 2020 August 9
Hi, I have been baking at home for several months and would like to try making bread using koji. Can anyone share a sourdough recipe using koji, please? I would really like to find out what it taste like. Thank you all!
GFNLoafer 2020 August 22

Hello Ana,

You use Koji to make  rice starter called Sakadane. (It is also the basis of making a sweet sake drink called Amazake)

Here is a video giving details of how to make the Sakadane starter.


i got my Koji from Meru Miso.


Here is a recipe for a dough for Red Bean Buns (Anpan) that I have adapted for loaves. I also incorporated the Japanese technique of Yudane, as you will see in the recipe. It makes for a very soft loaf.


Sakadane Yudane Loaf/Buns Recipe


2 loaves

Halve everything for 1 loaf or 8 rolls/buns of around 103g each

Prepare Yudane and Levain the evening before. Leave Levain out overnight. Refrigerate Yudane after cooling, but bring back to room temp the next morning. 

First day/evening


100g flour

240g boiling water


Sakadane Levain

200g sakadane

100g warm water 

200g flour


Following day

Combine Levain and Yudane


140g warm water or kefir or combination

40g rice oil

52g sugar

700g flour

14g salt


Mix well and leave 30 minutes

Stretch and fold over the next 4 hours, at least twice. 


knead to smooth consistency and let rise over around 4 hours. 


Divide into 2 and shape into tight balls. 

Rest for 1 hour before shaping for floured banneton or cloth lined bowl. 

Leave to rise until doubled in size. 


If this point is in the evening, then

Rest in fridge until heading to bed. 

Then remove from fridge and leave to rise in a cold place depending on the season and overnight temperature. If too warm leave in the fridge and let return to room temperature the next morning. 


Set oven to 230 fan

Boil the kettle and add water to tray when you put the loaves in. 

Score the loaves

Bake for 15 minutes at 230 fan


20 minutes at 200 without fan.


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