I have a passion for good bread and sourdough is a very good bread for so many reasons. Sourdough bread contains lower amounts of gluten and is prebiotic and probiotic. It may also help improve digestion. Sourdough bread may have a more positive effect on blood sugar and insulin levels than other types of bread, but the reason for this isn't yet fully understood.
This is one of those recipes I tweaked for many years. It started out with dry milk or liquid milk, butter milk, and many other variations. I did away with any dairy in it because I noticed that breads that have some type of milk, be it powder or fresh, starts to mold sooner. This is my latest variation, tastes best so far, and stores the longest.
Fabulous Farmhouse Sourdough Bread
- Bread Machine
- Electric Mixer (W/Dough Hook)
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Mixing Spoons
- Small Wire Strainer, Stainless
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- 16" Squared Bread Pan
- Sheet Pan
- Cooling Rack
- 1 C. Whey or Water - If you make your own yogurt, you can save the whey in ½ gallon mason jars with pour spout lids.
- 1 to 1 ¼ C. Sourdough Starter - If the viscosity of the starter is runny add a little extra flour. Maybe 1 Tbsp. or more.
- 4½ C. Bread Flour - Add another ¼ C for a flat pan style loaf to thicken the dough.
- ¼ C. Gluten Powder - Optional - But recommended.
If your flour is gluten wimpy then add this option. I like the dough to stretch well.
- ½ C. Potato starch/flour
- 1 Tbsp. Salt - Iodized or sea salt is a good option.
- ¼ C. Non-diastic Malt Powder - Optional - But Highly Recommended! (non-diastic, non-sugar) Mix the malt into the coconut oil to avoid clumping. Malt powder can be very sticky at times.*
- 1 Tbsp. Yeast - Fast acting. No yeast if you let it rise overnight above 70 deg., but requires a strong starter.**
- ¼ C. Coconut Oil - Refined Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Etc. Any quality cooking oil will work.
- If you're using a bread machine on a delayed timer don't add the yeast yet. First put the wet ingredients into the machine pan, put the dry ingredients on top, and place the yeast in a pile onto the driest, top most portion.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the sourdough starter with the whey and 3 cups of flour. (For a more sour taste allow it to ferment for 8 hrs. to 36 hrs. Cover with cellophane. Do not use an airtight container because the fermentation releases a lot of gas.)
- Put your oil into a glass measuring cup and add the malt and mix it together. If you are using coconut oil and it is in solid form, microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds and then add the malt to it. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients* and set aside. Cover this if you decide to ferment the wet ingredients longer.
- If your using a bread machine, put it all in and let 'er go.If your using a mixer, food processor†, or mixing by hand, add the oil/malt to the starter/flour mix first, add the remaining dry ingredients ½ cup at a time. Depending on your machine of choice, the time it takes to mix will vary. Some mixers are quick and only need/knead for around 10 minutes. Typically 20 minutes for most, but don't over-knead your dough. If it starts to turn into a gooey puddle, you've over kneaded.
- Cut-in the remaining flour:
- Hand mixing example video:
- When the dough is at the proper consistency you should be able to take a teaspoon sized pinch and stretch into a semi-transparent window, allowing light to be seen through it. The window area should be more than an inch wide and not break open.
- Roll you dough out and let it rest for 20 minutes. (Unless your a bread machine person. I like to mix in a bread machine but cook it in a 16" square bread pan. )Use this time to prep your pan. (Oil/Flour greased, Parchment paper, etc.)Shape your dough and place into your pan of choice. It should take about 3 - 8 hrs. to rise because we don't use sugar in this recipe.If you didn't add the yeast and are taking the natural yeast rise approach, it can take up to 20 hours for your dough to rise.I like to get a cheesecloth wet and wring it out. I fold it over once only and place this over my dough to keep it from drying out. Don't use cellophane as it will degas you dough when you pull it off. (Ask me how I know)Pictured in a 16" bread pan
- Preheat your oven to 350° or 325° in a convection oven.Place the pan in the center-most part of the oven and bake for 23 minutes for light crust OR 28 minutes for a dark crust. Your crust should be light to medium brown and the loaf should sound hollow when lightly tapped with a finger tip (be careful if it's hot) or the rounded end of a wooden spoon.
- Remove your loaf from the oven and pan, placing it on a cooling rack with a dry cheesecloth over it. Let it cool for 30 minutes. It helps sometimes to turn a sandwich loaf onto it's side to cut it. If it looks like it's smashing the loaf when you cut, either the bread is too hot still or the knife is too dull.
- * It helps to sift the malt through a wire mesh strainer if it is clumping up from moisture retention.
- ** If your starter has weak yeast then you should add a small amount of yeast anyhow. At least ¼ teaspoon.
- For a crisper crust place an oven safe bowl, pan, or pot of water in the oven prior to preheating. 2 or 3 cups should do it.