Thursday, April 3, 2008

High Carbs R Us

The Bread Baking Babes have become nannies. Mary the Breadchick, gave us a recipe to follow to make a sourdough starter for our May project. It's been keeping us busy with a schedule of feeding, burping, and changing the baby. If you'd like to bake along with us, you'll need to get started now. The directions are here (scroll down to March 25th for the beginning instructions).

My starter is doing quite well, but with my frugal upbringing, it pains me to daily throw half of it away. I hit upon the brilliant idea of using the throw away for making one of my favorite bread machine breads. It's one of the few whole grain bread machine breads that doesn't bake into a brick. I used to make it frequently, but I had hit or miss success with it. One time it would be perfect, the next time a wet lump, the next time a dry dough ball.

When I pulled the recipe out to try it again, I was amazed that gremlins had been at my recipe book. There was a whole paragraph there that I swear had never been there before. It involved making a "sponge" the night before. Wow, reading that paragraph really made a difference to the consistency of my bread!

If you already have a sourdough starter going, then you can jump right into this bread. Or if you'd like to start one following Mary's instructions, you're sixteen days away from having delicious, homemade, sourdough, whole-wheat bread. What are you waiting for?

Sourdough Whole-Wheat Bread
adapted from The Bread Machine Book

(Directions are for a 1-1/2 lb loaf)


1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup bread flour
2 Tbsp water


6 Tbsp cracked wheat
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp dried milk
1-1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2-1/4 tsp yeast

The night before making the bread, mix the sponge ingredients in a small bowl. Cover loosely and put in a warm place for at least 6 hours.

In the morning, at least 20 minutes before starting the bread, put the cracked wheat in a small saucepan. Cover it with water. Bring it to a boil, then boil for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pan. If there is any water unabsorbed at this point, drain it off, then set the pan aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Stir down the sponge and put it in the bread machine pan with the remainder of the water. Add cooled wheat and remaining ingredients in the order suggested by your bread machine instructions. Set for dough.

When the cycle has ended, remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a rectangle, about 9 x 12 inches, and roll it up into a loaf shape. Pinch edges to seal and place in a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. (The greasing really does matter. I discovered this once when I forgot it. Chiseling bread out of the pan does not make a pretty loaf!)

Let the dough rise in the pan 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F and bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes.

When it's done, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a rack (for as long as you can resist the temptation to saw off a big piece and slather it with butter).


Peabody said...

Just 16 short days away. :) I don't think most people are that patient!
Bread looks great.

Anonymous said...

mmmm. Lovely. I love the smell of freshly baked bread!

Starfruit Gypsy said...

That looks so good! I must try it. I bought a packet of sourdough starter last week, but haven't looked at it since. I hope that's not cheating... oh well, if it makes good bread, that's fine with me!

LyB said...

Lynn, I laughed out loud at the part about the missing paragraph, so funny! I've never tried to make a sourdough, I'm not daring enough yet! Your bread looks delicious!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I have been enjoying a sourdough ciabatta bread with my starter. I suppose I should share about it sometime soon. Glad you found that other paragraph!!

RecipeGirl said...

I tried to do a starter once and couldn't manage to keep it alive :(

Susan @ SGCC said...

I'm scared of sourdough starters. I'm afraid that they will just grow and grow and swallow me up! ;)

What a great idea to salvage your extra for this beautiful bread. I used to do a lot with my bread machine until No-Knead bread came along. Now, the poor thing acts as an extra shelf for canned goods in my pantry!

test it comm said...

That bread looks good. Growing your own sour dough sounds like fun.

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Big Boys Oven said...

I like this type of bread, it really taste good!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have been thinking of making sourdough bread for ages, Lynn, but haven't been brave enough. This is inspirational!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You'd think when a book was rolled off the press and the ink dry that a paragraph like that would be in the book the first time around. But your experience here confirms my belief in invisible ink grimlins! This happens all the time to me.
Looks like great bread.

Sophie said...

Sourdough is definitely one of my favorite breads, had it for the first time in San Francisco and fell in love...though I am kind of a carb addict :), all in all. I love the fact that this is a whole wheat loaf! I don't know why I always assumed it had to be made out of white flour :P!