Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Multigrain Sourdough Bread Recipe

     I'm posting this at popular demand, having only this evening taken five loaves out of the oven and tasted my first-ever slice  of homemade multigrain sourdough bread. Sorry, no photo available. This recipe originated on-line but I made some changes, which are noted. Posting this is jumping the gun, as I plan to post another Thanksgiving challenge article about sourdough bread, including recipes for starting your own starter using yeast. I already posted about starting by catching wild yeast.

                                                  Multigrain Sourdough Bread
1 cup oatmeal (regular or quick)
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup corn flour (subbed for cracked wheat)
1/2 cup brown rice flour (subed for soy flour)
1/2 cup flax meal (did not grind well in Victorio grinder. Used Vitamix)
 4 cups molasses

2 1/2 cups (approximate) boiling water (recipe said 2 cups, but I think my subs absorbed more so I added a little extra.)
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter

2 cups warm milk
1/2 cups melted butter
2 tsp salt
5 - 7 cups unbleached flour

Measure first six ingredients into a large non-metal bowl. Stir in boiling water until blended. (My mixture seemed too thick so I added some extra water. I am determined not to be intimidated by sourdough so am perhaps being somewhat adventurous. This is fun--when it works.) Cool to warm and add sourdough starter and whole wheat flour. Mix until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel and let stand overnight in a warm place. (I used the oven with only the light on.)

There wasn't much rising overnight, but I proceeded as directed anyway.

Combine warm milk, melted butter, and salt and blend into mixture. (I suggest using a wooden spoon)
Add unbleached flour gradually to make a soft workable dough.. (Even with the extra water I added, I used only a little more than 5 cups of unbleached flour). Knead 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn to coat all sides, and cover. Let rise until double. (directions said 3 hours. Mine took more like 5. Be patient!)

On the other hand, the recipe said to add 2 pkg yeast with the milk to speed up the process. This seems like cheating to me, and misses the whole point of using sourdough!
Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Let it rest for 10 minutes before shaping into 4 (of five) loaves. Bake in greased loaf pans at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Cool on racks. I made five loaves, figuring about 20 ounces of dough per loaf as I do with most recipes since I use smaller pans. Next time I'll probably go with the four as these loaves didn't spring like yeast loaves do. This is typical of sourdough bread, or so I've read. Again, rising took much longer than for yeast bread, about two hours, maybe three. (I wasn't wearing a watch and I was outside splitting wood, so wasn't watching too closely)

I do hope all my notes and asides here aren't confusing. If you try this, I would love hearing how yours turn out!

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