Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Multi-Grain Sourdough Bread With Sunflower Seeds

I'm still experimenting with sourdough starter. When I fed the starter last night before bed I didn't realise that I would wake this morning feeling like my lungs were being pulled out through my ribcage. That was unpleasant. Kneading dough was really the last thing I felt like doing today and I ended up letting the sponge ferment much longer than usual (so I could do other important things like sleep). This worked out well. I also improvised the ingredients adding a cup of whole-wheat flour and ¾ cup rye flour. I had my First Clear flour on the counter but realised I didn't need it. I don't know why I added the sunflower seeds other than I'd seen it somewhere else and in my flu-induced stupour it seemed like a good idea. Thankfully, they didn't burn. I suppose the addition of seeds will reduce the shelf-life of the bread though as I've pointed out previously, sourdough doesn't get a chance to go stale in our house.

You Will Need:

1 cup fed starter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-tablespoon salt
1-tablespoon sugar
1-cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup rye flour
Additional all-purpose or first clear flour if needed
1-2 cups sunflower seeds

In a large bowl combine the fed starter with 3 cups all-purpose flour. Let sit six hours covered lightly with plastic.

Stir in the salt and sugar. Add the whole-wheat flour and rye flour and as much all-purpose as needed though you'll want to keep the dough rather wet if not sticky. It will firm up as you knead.

Because of the rye flour it will take a bit of work to really develop the gluten properly. I ended up kneading (and slapping and generally tossing it about) for close to twenty minutes.

Place in a lightly covered bowl until doubled-about 3 hours.

Divide dough in two and shape into loaves. Try not to over-work the dough. Toss a baking sheet generously with cornmeal and place the loaves on it. Lightly spray or brush the loaves with water and cover with sunflower seeds (use your hands to firmly stick seeds to the sides. Use more than you think you'll need, as a good number of them will fall off as the loaves rise).

Cover loaves lightly and set in a warm spot to rise-about two hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If using a pan to create steam, preheat it in oven bottom.

Use whatever method you prefer to create steam. Slash loaves and load the sheet into the oven. Bake twenty minutes. Rotate sheet and bake another ten or until deep golden brown and hollow, or bread reaches an internal temperature of around 200 degrees F.

Cool completely on racks before slicing.

No comments: