Sourdough Bread #1

Sourdough bread – here we come!  This is the result of my first time using my starter.  If you haven’t read about capturing yeast, feel free to check out how to get started.

When I made the starter, I made the traditional sourdough using wheat flour and rye flour every time I fed it.  Then, when I went to make my first bread with it, I decided to try out a whole wheat bread recipe.  The only mistake I made was assuming that the bread would taste similar to my favorite wheat bread that we use for sandwiches.  What I got was a nice little loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread – which while very tasty, just didn’t cut it for lunchtime PB&J’s.  I think that if you’d like less “sourdough” flavor, you should leave out the rye flour and just do 100% wheat.  That’s just my guess and will make for a great future experiment!  (My family loves it when I experiment on them.)

What I really like about this loaf is the chewy denseness.  Maybe I’m weird but when I eat baked goods, I really like something I can sink my teeth into.  The sourdough flavor is very good.  The loaf has retained it’s moisture and has not dried out after 5 days so far.  Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my first run.  What I’m really looking forward to is making a white flour sourdough bread.  Chicken hoagie sandwiches, anyone?

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (1 loaf) adapted from the 100% Whole Wheat Recipe at http://www.sourdoughhome.com

3/4 cup active starter

3/4 cup lukewarm water

2 Tbs honey

2Tbs + 1 tsp light olive oil/vegetable oil

1-1/4 tsp salt

2-2/3 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tbs vital wheat gluten *Optional*

  • Begin by putting your starter into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the water, honey and oil.  Mix well.
  • Add 1 cup of flour and mix until well combined.
  • Add in the salt.
  • Add in the rest of the flour, one cup at a time.
  • This recipe didn’t have enough dough for the kneading hook on my KitchenAid to knead it well so I just kneaded it by hand on the counter.  Do not add a lot of flour as you knead.  Try to keep it around 1/2 cup total otherwise your loaf will end up too dry.
  • Knead for 5 minutes and then cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.  This resting time allows time for the flour to absorb the water thoroughly.
  • Knead for another 5 minutes or so until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Form dough into a ball and then set into an oiled bowl.  Flip dough over once to oil both sides.
  • Cover and let rise for about 1-1/2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough and let rise again for about 45 minutes.
  • Punch down the dough and form into a loaf and set into a greased loaf pan.
  • Let rise again for about 20-30 minutes.  Heat the oven to 350˚.
  • Make a slash down the center of the loaf before popping it into the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Check bread.  If it is looking pale and undercooked, bump up the heat to 375˚.  If it’s looking overly brown, adjust the oven back down to 325˚.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes until it’s golden brown.

    Note my pathetic slashing skills. I’m going to have to work on that.
  • At this point, it’s smelling really good and it will be hard to wait but let it cool for about 5 minutes.  Then take it out of the pan and cool for another 10-15 minutes on the counter.  It will still be warm but much easier to slice once it has cooled a little.

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