This bread is good.
I mean really, really good.
It's got that chewy squish that sourdough should have to it. You know, the kind that makes you want to eat three pieces of it slathered in butter and peach jam. It also lasts a few days without getting dry or crumbly and it slices well for sandwiches. It's our new favorite bread. And while it isn't 100% whole wheat.... I'm okay with that. I think the flax meal gives it an extra boost. You could certainly use all wheat flour, but you'll lose the squish factor. After about 3 dozen loaves of this... I've used the least amount of white flour possible while still making a mostly whole grain bread that we love.
I could talk far too long about creating just the right texture in foods. It drives my husband crazy sometimes. He's telling me "this is good." And I'm going on and on about getting the right balance of crisp and chewy into it. That's usually when he looks at me and shakes his head and starts laughing.
I hope you try it and you love it too. Especially the squishy part.
This bread uses 1.5 cups of sourdough starter. I ordered my whole wheat sourdough starter here.I feed it about 8-12 hours before I start my bread.... that way it's nice and bubbly & active when you start the process. What I mean is, the starter should look something like this:
Our Sourdough Bread
1.5 cups active sourdough starter
2 cups very warm water
2-3 tsp salt (I like 3)
2 TBSP honey
1/2 cup ground flax seed (flax meal)
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white bread flour (+ more for kneading)
*Add starter, water, salt, honey, flax & wheat flour to a bowl. Stir well and let sit for 15-30 minutes to give the wheat flour a chance to absorb some of the water. Add the white flour and mix well. I use my stand mixer for this. I use the paddle for the first mix and switch to the dough hook when I add the white flour. After I add the white flour, the mixture is doughy but still too soft and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the bowl. I turn it onto a floured counter to knead in the last bits of flour. About a cup or so. The dough will hold its shape when it has enough flour into it. I always do the last part by hand because too often I have incorporated far too much flour by only using the mixer.
Too much flour = dense dry loaf. (aka - no squish)
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let sit for 1-1.5 hours in a warm place to rise. My own experience is that sourdough needs a longer first rise to double in size. I think it just operates a little differently than conventional yeasted dough.
After the dough is nearly doubled, gently knead the dough once more. Shape into two loaves and place them into oiled baking pans. Cover with a barely moist towel to keep them from drying out.
Let rise for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven after 25 minutes to 375. Bake for 40 minutes or so. The crust will be a dark golden brown when the loaves are done.
Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Veggie sandwich & apple slices with maple almond butter.
Have you tried maple almond butter? Oh my, it's delicious.
Happy Monday to you~~