WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST … I split the one I was going to post in 2 but there are still a lot of pictures as I’m a visual learner/teacher.
I have to admit that I don’t actually care for the taste of sourdough bread. I don’t DISlike it but it’s not something I prefer. However, making a tasty and attractive loaf of sourdough bread is on my cooking bucket list, even if it’s only the mental one. So, I’ve set out to figure out what I need to do to succeed starting with making a sourdough starter from scratch.
To date, I’ve made two sourdough starters. One with all purpose flour and water and, most recently, one with whole wheat flour and unsweetened canned pineapple juice. Time is important. It takes at least 2 weeks of feeding for the balance of yeast and bacteria to adjust and turn a neutral flour mixture into one with the proper pH balance to sustain the right kind of yeast. And there’s no substitute for time. Don’t let that early bubbling and rising fool you after day 4 or 5. It’s NOT ready yet to substitute for yeast in your bread baking.
It’s fall and the house temperature is set to 70 deg F so I’m doing all my proofing in a microwave with 2 cups of hot water to provide as optimal a rising environment as possible.
In this post and the one following, I’m going to try to replicate a honey whole wheat (33%) and all purpose flour bread made with yeast, and a touch of starter for flavour with an all sourdough starter. There’s more whole wheat flour in the all sourdough starter loaf than in the yeast version as my starter is mostly whole wheat and my secondary addition of flour (bread only) didn’t end up needing as much flour to get a nice, soft dough.
Yeast and a Touch of Sourdough Starter
Shaped, proofed for 1 hr and baked for ~40 minutes at 375 deg F.
Nice oven spring on the mini (400 gm of dough) loaf
Brushed with melted butter
This is the kind of crumb I want with my all sourdough starter bread
Mini Honey Whole Wheat – makes one 400 gm loaf
Version 1 – Yeast
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
~ 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp honey plus 1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sourdough starter
In a small bowl, mix together the warm water and honey until the sugar is dissolved. Add the yeast, stir and let rise for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is foamy.
In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and salt. Stir in the yeast-honey mixture and the starter with a wooden spoon and beat until you get a nice smooth batter. Gradually stir in another 1/2 cup of all purpose flour until the dough gets too stiff to stir and forms a ball around the spoon. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured working surface.
Knead for 10 minutes using the reserved flour and as much more flour as need until you get a nice smooth and supple dough. Let rest for 5 minutes covered with a large bowl then knead for another 5 minutes.
Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and a towel and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a loaf. Place on a prepared baking sheet or in a loaf pan and let rise until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.
Bake for 30 minutes, take out of pan, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and when rapped, the loaf gives a hollow sound.
Spray top with water after placing in oven and a second time 5 minutes later.
Brush the top with melted butter after removing from the oven.