Sunday, May 11, 2008

Struan-esque Sourdough Bread

I say "Struan-esque" because it lacks brown rice and buttermilk. This is somewhat heavier bread than Struan, but it features some of the elements like oatmeal, wheat bran and polenta grits. I sweetened it with both honey and brown sugar. Check back tomorrow and I'll let you know if it is as great toasted as regular Struan bread.

You Will Need:

1 cup fed starter
2 cups warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons polenta grits
3 tablespoons oatmeal
2 tablespoons what bran
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1-tablespoon salt
Additional all-purpose flour, up to 3 more cups
Water for brushing
Poppy Seeds

To make sponge: Mix fed starter with 2 cups warm water. Add three cups all-purpose flour and mix well. Let sit for 6-8 hours. Prepare Struan soaker by mixing oatmeal, polenta grits and wheat bran with ¼ cup water. Mix well and cover. Set aside with sponge.

Into the sponge mix the soaker, brown sugar, honey, salt and flour a cup at a time until you have tacky but not sticky dough. Knead well for about ten minutes or until smooth. Set in a buttered bowl and let rise slowly-2-3 hours until doubled in bulk.

Butter bread pans (mine used 1 large Pullman pan and a standard loaf pan) and fit in the breads. Brush tops lightly with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled (about 1 ½-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake 20 minutes, and then rotate pans. Bake another ten minutes and begin checking loaves. I baked mine to internal temperatures of 205 degrees F. Ovens vary though, and you may wish to give it the knuckles n the bottom of the loaf test as well.

Remove from pans, dust off extra poppy seeds (over the sink if you can) and cool on racks. Because these are sourdough loaves they really will be best if permitted to cool completely for several hours.

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