monday bites :: our sourdough bread

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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:

 

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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.

 

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Veggie sandwich & apple slices with maple almond butter.

Have you tried maple almond butter? Oh my, it's delicious.

 

Happy Monday to you~~

 

20 thoughts on “monday bites :: our sourdough bread

  1. So very excited to try this! Although it may have to wait until I have some sourdough starter made…better look at that. My mom used to make herman, which we used in pancakes, muffins, coffee cake, and she also used in bread. It was much sweeter than any sourdough starter I have ever seen…but so yummy! I also love that this recipe has honey in it, because we love honey here. Do you have any subs for the flax meal? Can I use wheat germ? Or more flour? Does the flax add moisture?

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  2. Hi Steph
    I have been in a Sourdough Bread baking binge as well!
    I received some Klondike starter from a friend in Talkeetna and it is the bubbliest best.
    Loved this blog entry.
    Hope all is well with you and family.
    Happy sourdough…
    love
    dotty

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  3. I'd never heard of herman. Does it need eggs in the recipe? I think I know someone who used to pass it around when we lived in the midwest. As a flax meal sub you could use wheat germ. Or just leave it out. It adds a little fiber & moisture to the bread…. but it isn't a must. I won't make a tremendous difference. Enjoy it šŸ˜‰

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  4. Wonderful! I used to have a starter from Neil (Anne's husband) years ago….. it made the best pancakes ever! I'll have to try those again. Looking forward to seeing you this summer. The kids & I are coming up for seven weeks! My mom is so excited. Take care.
    ~s

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  5. That almond maple butter is good on everything. You could make it easily too in a food processor. Raw almonds, palm oil & maple sugar. I'd swap the palm oil for coconut oil…. but it's on my list of things to try and make!

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  6. Loved the flavor of the bread!!! I have a couple quick questions if you don’t mind. Is your sourdough thick or more liquid? Yours looks a bit more liquidy. Mine is feed equal parts water/flour by weight so it’s not really liquid. Also, about how long do you knead by hand for the first knead? As I said the flavor was great, but my loaves were a bit short. The texture was good but they were just short. Thank you for taking the time to blog your recipe, it’s excellent.

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  7. So glad you loved it! My starter is the consistency of thick buttermilk. This doesn't make a huge difference, as thickness of the starter would just result in more or less flour added. Mine is pourable but super thick & slow. (I hope that helps!) I only knead the bread by hand long enough to incorporate the flour. 5 minutes or so? I'm a lazy bread baker šŸ™‚ You can try and add a tsp of yeast in the water in the beginning and also try a little longer rise. I let mine rise in a barely warm oven. 85 degrees or so for 1-2 hours the first rise and about 30-40 minutes the second rise. I've heard all starters are different too…. best of luck šŸ˜‰

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  8. Thank you! I did the first rise in the oven. My mistake was the second rise I think. I was pushing it a bit so that we could enjoy it for dinner. My starter is similar consistency to yours but as you say that just means more/less flour. My husband is still raving about the flavor. Even took some to a coworker so they could try it. Funny. Thanks again.

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  9. I find that sourdough really likes a warm rise. But the flavor is awesome isn't it? If you want a good chewy crust, try baking it with a pan of water on the bottom rack. Amazing!

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  10. I made this last weekend, and it turned out great. Thank you so much for posting this. I have a wonderful sourdough starter, and making actual bread (as opposed to English muffins, crackers, pretzels, pancakes, etc.) has been incredibly intimidating for me. The squish factor is really what made this delicious. Do you mind if I pin this recipe?

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  11. I am so glad you liked it! I've got some started today here…. the kids are hoping it's done in time for afternoon snack. It's so good warm from the oven with butter & jam. Of course you can pin it šŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing~~

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