Friday, July 1, 2011

Mixed Grain Sourdough

Our sourdough starter has really grown in the last week or so. By that, I mean that it has begun to show signs of vigour...bubbling virtually immediately upon the addition of flour and water and frothing to an admirable foam overnight. It also produces a 'cidery smell' the riper it gets, the strength of the aroma increasing with age.

The odd time I've had a few days rest from feeding it, the oozing mass was reduced to around half a cup in volume and placed into a mug covered loosely with plastic wrap in the fridge. There has been one occasion so far when I've not been organised enough to bake with the discarded starter..the rest of times seeing it go into a dough of some sort.

Today saw a couple of grainy loaves and since I'm all out of wholemeal flour (how can this be??), white they had to be.

Mixed grain sourdough - simple yet satisfying

I found that preparing the dough over a few days made for less work if that's at all possible as naturally leavened breads require hardly any work at all to make!

Day 1: feed starter, leave out at room temperature overnight
Day 2: make dough in evening, place in fridge overnight
Day 3: Remove dough from fridge, fold (gently knead) dough at intervals. Shape, rise and bake

My new breadmaking routine is to bake in the evening, allowing the bread to stand and cool overnight before slicing the following morning. I find this suits my day and I am not rushing at any point in the bread making exercise.

Sourdough Grain Loaf
(makes 2)

500g leaven
850g bread flour
150g  (1 1/2 cups approx) mixed grains
550g water
2 1/2-3 tsp sea salt

Prepare the dough by placing the leaven and water together in a large bowl. Mix well and then add the grains and flour. Mix well by hand or with dough hooks. Allow to stand for 1-2 hours before adding salt. Place in fridge overnight.

The following day, whenever it is convenient, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to de-chill for an hour or so by the fire or in a sunny spot. Knead (fold) briefly on a floured surface at intervals of about 1/2 hour for 2-3 hours (basically whenever you remember!). Shape and place in proofing baskets/tins and allow to rise again until nicely puffy. During this time preheat oven to 220c. Score the dough - lightly for the forgotten loaves that are well and truly risen and puffing out of their skins, or deeply for the young dough that needs to be baked now so you can leave them to cool while you go out to do kids activity pick-ups.

Bake for 20 minutes with a little steam, reduce oven temp to 200c and rotate loaves then bake for a further 20 minutes or so until golden brown all over. Refrain from freaking out when the scoring doesn't turn out the way you had hoped - It's. Just. Bread! It all goes down the same way!!

Cool for 12 hours on a wire rack. Slice and serve or freeze for later use.Very important - remember to feed your leaven 'baby' for next time.

14 comments:

  1. hello christine,
    your bread looks very yummie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    a fresh bread with butter is for me the heaven on earth!
    i hope you have wonderful weather,
    wishing you a nice day,
    regina

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  2. I find the rhythm of sourdough baking so comforting - the routine and regularity of it - I love the cadence it affords our daily lives...

    Your loaves look delicious! I always soak my grains nowadays - I like the softer bite in the finished bread..

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  3. That looks like a great loaf of bread. Well done! I must get back to sourdough again.

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  4. Oh Chris I'm using my starter this weekend, thank you! Is the 500g of leaven just sourdough starter or is it sourdough starter plus flour?

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  5. Hi Regina! Thankyou, I hope you are enjoying the summer weather at the moment..we have the fire on here at the moment, brr! x

    So soothing for the soul, Celia. Soaking the grains, yes, I tried this a week or so ago and it was very nice. I don't mind the texture of the unsoaked grains either..I guess it would depend on what types of grains were in the mix too... Have a lovely Saturday!

    Thanks, Rhonda! We're finding it a wonderful bread that quietly ticks over while the weather is cold outside and the house is nice and snug. Perfect comfort food..

    Wonderful, Rose, how exciting! The leaven is 100% starter (50/50 water/flour), I fed it up the day before so we would have enough volume (but to be honest, you could use less than 500g, with more flour/water in your dough if you didn't have enough..would maybe just need the rising times adjusted...). Happy baking!

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  6. i am just wondering how you made your original starter..i noticed on one post you used dates and water..i really want to make a starter but i'm not sure where to start! :) jane

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  7. Your rhythm is very like mine. I wondered how my Everyday Sourdough would go in winter, but so far it's doing fine with a routine of feeding the starter and activating it overnight, making the dough in the morning and proving all day, punching down when I get home and baking at night. Fits nicely around a workday. I cook my grains a bit before adding them - makes a nice chewy nutty bread with no tooth breakers in it. It's a real baking day today, and I'm up for some new experiments!

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  8. can vouch that the bread was totally delicious and a work of beauty as well!

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  9. I love the look of your loaf and hope I can get the same result. I've been growing a sourdough starter over the last week or so and am getting really excited over how bubbly it's getting now!

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  10. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!! I look forward to giving it a try..

    Jodie :)

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  11. I'm visiting from Rhonda's blog Down to Earth. That sourdough grain bread looks really yummy. I love eating fresh bread : :) Have a lovely weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  12. Hi Jane, dates and water, with yoghurt and flour - this is right. Cityhippyfarmgirl has posted recently about creating a starter from scratch which I linked to in that post, otherwise I would highly recommend you get your hands on a copy of Dan Lepard's: The Handmade Loaf. It will answer all of your questions! :)

    Fantastic, Linda. It's wonderful how routines can be shaped around the baking, I'm finding it a very forgiving bread.

    Ah, Kirsty, you are too kind with your words! Thankyou. (Any chance you want to try baking some of your own? I could give you some starter in a cup..) :)

    It is very exciting, Tanya! Happy, happy baking for you and your starter ;)

    You're welcome, Jellywares!

    Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by, I hope you're having a great weekend too :)

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  13. Your bread looks gorgeous! Actually everything here looks gorgeous! Just found your blog and will bookmark it to spend some time browsing.

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  14. Hi Heather, and WELCOME! Great to have you here!! :)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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