Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sourdough Bread

Soaking grains is an important task for digestion. Here is a recipe strait from the pages of NT for a deliciously sour bread that is soft and chewy (even 4 days after baking!)

2 cups freshly ground Rye Flour (or you can buy it pre-ground and store it in the fridge)
2 cups cold filtered water
6 cups fresh ground Rye flour
cold filtered water

You will need two VERY large glass bowls. Place the two cups cold water and 2 cups flour in a clean glass bowl, stir to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature.

Each day and every day for the next seven transfer the mixture to a clean bowl, and stir in ONE cup flour and just enough cold filtered water to keep the mixture soupy.
At some point in the week it will begin to get frothy and have a wine like odor. It HAS to go through this phase before the starter is ready, this should happen before the week is up. It did for me and we keep our house pretty cool.
Once the starter is ready, bake some yummy bread! The remaining starter can be used to start another batch or stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to start another batch.

To make the bread.

  2 quarts of the starter
13 cups freshly ground flour (I used a Combo of  hard-winter wheat and unbleached white as I am converting my white bread eating husband.)
2 1/2 TBS sea salt
about 1 1/2 cups cold filtered water

Place starter, salt and one cup water in a clean bowl and mix until salt is dissolved. Then slowly begin to add flour, add the other 1/2 cup water if the dough gets too thick. Knead it right in the bowl until smooth and soft, or about 15 minutes (I did need to take a little more time on this part).
Without punching down the dough shape into 3 large loaves or well butter some loaf pans (3 large, 5-6 small) and place dough in there. cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 4-12 hours depending on temperature. Once risen bake at 350* for about an hour. 
This bread will keep for about a week without being in the fridge

This can be a heavy loaf, also why I used some white flour, I LOVE the flavor and it is so so soft and chewy and delicious!  My husband said he could get used to it, but asked me to take a little more time kneading it next time (snicker)

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