Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sourdough Multi-grain Bread: Update

          I've made some improvements to my original sourdough bread recipe.  I grind my wheat and spelt flours in my Junior Wondermill , hand grinder that is now attached to my kitchen counter. I shifting my ground flour with a stainless steel strainer to get out some of the rougher parts of bran and germ out.  I am learning that I really don't want all that bran.  First, bran has phytic acid (non-nutrient plant defense) and second, my bowels do just fine without all that bran, in fact too much bran may hurt bowel function. 
      I also use some store bought unbleached, un-enriched wheat flour.  Never thought I'd be using this as it was my enemy for so many years, but the sourdough process makes it usable again without the damage. 
     I also have added some "dough enhancers".  Dough enhancer is usually more gluten but I don't want more gluten.  The enhancers I found do a nice job without adding more gluten.  
     This recipe makes a very nice, unsour, high rising bread that is digestible and tasty, even for those who don't like sour taste.  But, I still am very careful not to overuse bread.  One slice a day is all I consume....anymore than that, and I will put on weight.  I consume other, soaked, cooked grains and pulses and I am careful with those as well.   

1 day before mixing dough....FEED STARTER

Mixing dough next day:
1 cup sourdough start
1 cup water
3.5  to 4 cups  flour; whole spelt, whole wheat and unbleached wheat flour  usually half whole grain and half white.
1.5  tsp. Real Salt
1 TBS  fat   soft butter is good or olive oil  (not coconut oil as it can kill the yeasts)

Enhancers;   1 egg or just the white of 1 egg, 1 TBS ac vinegar or kombucha, 1 tsp. bovine gelatin, 1/4 tsp powdered ginger, 1 tsp. dark molasses.  
I use all of these enhancers. But you can try one or two.

I will also add 2 TBS cracked wheat or spelt, 1 tsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp. flax seeds sometimes.  

Mix all ingredients and form into a soft ball and cover.  Allow to ferment for at least 18-24 hours. 

Baking Day;  4-5 hours before baking, flour the counter, roll out the dough and knead the dough for a few minutes.  It should feel "alive" and elastic.  During  kneading process if you want to reduce the sour taste, sprinkle 1 tsp. baking soda with the flour on the counter and knead it into the dough.  The dough will puff up a bit, but it will return to normal quickly.  Continue kneading for total of 8-10 minuets.  If dough is too "plastic" then it may need a dish or bread pan to form it, but if dough is kinda stiff then you can form it into bowles or balls and bake without pans.  Grease pans if you use them.  Form dough for either and allow dough to rise double in bulk....maybe 4-5 hours.  Because it is so dry in Utah, I put my loaves in the oven with a bowl of hot water on the bottom shelf.  Do not leave oven on "warm" while rising dough. "Warm" is too warm for most ovens and will prematurely kill the yeasts before they finish the loaves.  I've ruined a few batches that way.  

Bake at 400-425 for 20-25 minutes.  I usually have a pan with a cup of hot water in the oven when baking.  

My favorite way to eat a slice of sourdough bread: spread with honey first, maybe that "white" honey, then spread coconut oil over the honey and top it off with a couple slices of raw milk cheddar cheese!  Yum!

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