Welcome!

This is my journey in keeping my family happy and healthy.
In this day and age, what parent knows best what to do and how to care for their family?
There are so many conflicting ideas, so much wisdom, and so many paths.
It is here that I will compile information on what I have learned and the choices I am making.
Maybe my path will help others.... or not. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

HEALTHFUL RECIPES: Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Artisan Bread

I have realized that I cannot rely on stores for healthy bread. So many additives, so many preservatives, is the wheat flour even fresh, are there GMO's.... so I have endeavored to make my own breads. This was a daunting task for me, as I'd never made bread before. After a few attempts, I feel much better.

I even have my own sourdough starter going. I feed it regularly and it's bubbling away happily. The other day I made a delicious Honey Whole Wheat bread, as well as a regular Sourdough. And my husband said, wouldn't in be interesting to combine the two! So that's what I did!

The basis of my Sourdough Recipe is from a great website: Sourdough Baking: The Basics by John  Ross.

From there I added and changed according to my likes......

Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Artisan Bread



2 Cups of sponge (proofed starter)
2 Cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (you can just use pre-ground WW if you don't have fresh)
1 Cup of unbleached flour (or more depending on the consistency)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of honey
2 Teaspoons of salt

I use a mixer with a dough hook. You could also do this by hand.

First add the starter into the mixing bowl. Then add the honey, salt and oil. Mix this thoroughly. Then begin to add 1/2 cup at a time, the rest of the flours. I start with the whole wheat, as it generally needs more fluids so it's easier to gauge.

Mix slowly until the dough is no longer sticky, but soft. Then let it sit in the bowl to rise, covered. I have let is rise for almost 4 hours before! This is a slow riser. You can also put this into a lightly warmed oven (the door should be touchable) and it will rise faster. You want it to double in size. You can check it by pressing your finger into it. If it doesn't bounce back, it's fully risen.

Then punch the dough down and form it into a freeform loaf on a silicone mat on a cookie sheet, or grease or put corn meal underneath. Let it rise again.

Once it has risen to about twice the size, put it in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Do not preheat the oven! The bread will get an extra oomph of rising while the oven is warming. When done, you want it to look lightly browned. Oh and John also says if you thump it with a wooden spoon, it will sound hollow! Put the bread on a cooling rack and let it cool for a while. At least that's what he says too... but I've not been able to do that myself and always end up cutting into it right away to eat a slice with butter slathered on it. :)

So there you have it! Homemade yummy healthy bread you can count on.....

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