Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

A good sourdough is one of those things that I just absolutely love.  Paired with a good cheese and some fresh fruit...Mmmmmm.

Sourdough is also one of the healthiest breads you can eat.  Because of the natural yeasts and long slow rise, many of the anti-nutrients are broken down and ready to be assimilated (my kids' favorite word lately) into your body.

Starting a sourdough starter is easier than you might think.  Wardeh (pronounced Wardee) at GNOWFGLINS has a great tutorial that I followed. 

After you have a bubbly and active starter, here is one way you can use it.  So far, it's my favorite whole wheat sourdough recipe.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

The night before, mix together the following:
  • 1 C whole wheat sourdough starter
  • 3/4 C water
  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
This should give you 2 C.  If not, add a little more water and flour until you have 2 C of the starter mixture.

Next day:
  • 2 C starter (from above)
  • 2 C water
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 T sea salt
  • 6-8 C whole wheat flour
  1. Using paddle attachment of your stand mixer or a Danish dough hook, mix together starter, water, honey, olive oil, salt and 3 C whole wheat flour.   
  2. Using dough hook, knead in enough flour so that the sides of the bowl are cleaned by the dough in your mixer.  If you are kneading by hand, knead in enough flour until dough is smooth but still slightly sticky to the touch.
  3. Place dough in oiled bowl to rise.  Cover.  Allow to rise until doubled.  Depending on the temperature of your kitchen and how active your starter is, that could be as short as an hour or two, or as long as 8 hours.
  4. Form into 3 loaves or 2 rounds.  Place loaves into well-greased loaf pans; rounds on baking sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal.  (I like to cut 3 diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf or an "X" on each round.)  Spritz with water.  Allow to rise until doubled.  Again, this is subjective and depends on the above factors.
  5. When ready to bake, bake loaves at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes; rounds (spritz with water again before placing in oven) at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

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