Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recycled Grain Sourdough Bread

This recipe is one I got from my sister, Kathryn. It is adapted from Cynthia Lair's amazing Book: Feeding the Whole Family. This is some of the most delicious whole grain bread I have EVER eaten. The texture is smooth and wonderful. Just dense enough to make gorgeous sandwich and toast bread. Not too difficult to make at all. Best of all, it uses up leftovers you may have of cooked whole grains. I personally use quinoa almost all of the time, but you can use leftover cooked oatmeal, steel cut oats, brown rice... the possibilities are endless.
This is a great way to avoid waste, and make healthy delicious bread. The first step is to make the sourdough starter. I prefer a milder taste to my bread, so the longest I let the sourdough start is 12 hours, although if you prefer a stronger flavor, you can let it go up to 24 hours. Put all the ingredients for the sourdough start into your blender, blend, and let sit overnight. I find it gets a little difficult to blend if I add the whole wheat flour into my blender as well. I like to blend everything but the flour, and then pour the mixture into my stand mixer, and mix in the flour with my bread hooks. Then I just let the mixture sit at room texture overnight. In the morning, add the sweetener and the flour. Adding the flour one cup at a time while you mix helps avoid dough that is too dry. Dough should be supple and elastic by the time you're through kneading. It should not be sticking to the sides of the mixing bowlor to the counter or your hands, if you're kneading by hand. When the dough has been kneaded–about 15 minutes–drizzle a little oil over the dough, and coat the dough. Then allow to rise in a covered container for about one hour. After dough has risen, form your loaves, and set them to rise for another hour in loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. I like to make mini-loaves, in my little silicone loaf pans. When the loaves have risen, bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. While bread is still warm, paint the tops of the loaves with a mixture of 2 T olive oil and 2 T water. This keeps the crust soft so my kids will eat it.

Allow loaves to cool–if you can resist–before cutting and serving.


Cut-and-Paste Recipe

Recycled Grain Sourdough Bread
(makes 3 large loaves, or 10 mini-loaves)

Sourdough Starter

2 C cooked whole grains
2 C water
1/4 C olive oil or melted butter
1 T sea salt
1 T yeast
1 C whole wheat flour

Blend until creamy, cover, and let sit 12 - 24 hours at room temperature.

Add to starter:

1/4 C honey
2 C whole wheat flour
3-4 C flour (I find using at least 2 C white flour makes for the best texture.)

Add honey, and then add flour one cup at a time while mixing in a stand mixer, or by hand. Knead dough for 15 minutes, or until the dough is supple, elastic, and not sticky. Let rise one hour. Form loaves, and let rise one more hour. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Paint tops of loaves with a mixture of oil and water to keep crust from hardening.

After 12-24 hours, add sweetener to starter and stir, add ww flour, and pulse together. Add remaining flour, when dough is less sticky, transfer to floured surface and knead . Let dough rise for 1 hour. Make loaves. Let rise 1 more hour. Add to top: 1 tsp water, 1 tsp syrup, 1 tsp butter, 1/4 tsp sea salt, brush on. Bake 45-50 mins at 350.

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