In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Favorite: Rye-Buckwheat Bread

Made another loaf of Sourdough Rye-Buckwheat bread, and we love it. It's a dark firm loaf with a super crust! Better write down what I did, before I forget!

First of all, I've been experimenting with feeding my sourdough a whole-wheat diet (I use King Arthur brand) instead of the commercial unbleached All-purpose (White) Flour. I knew to change their diet slowly, given that my sourdough pet is a bunch of live microbes, and sudden changes in diet can be hard on any organism. At first I thought I had a reasonably bubbly ("active") sourdough. But lately I've notice less activity and quicker development of the "Hooch" often within half a day -- a sign that my sourdough is not at its prime. My solution, for now, is to change its diet back to half white and half wheat...

Sauerteig Roggen-Buchweizen Brot (Rye-Buckwheat Bread)
inspired by post on The Fresh Loaf blog by Hanseata, whose recipe is for a yeast bread rather than a sourdough bread. My recipe works without commercial yeast.

Sourdough starter:
1 c sourdough (can be fed with white, wheat or rye flour), active*
1 c rye flour

*sourdough is at 100% hydration, been fed for at least 3 days and kept at room temperature, NOT the refrigerator.

Final dough:
all of the starter above
1 c warm water
1 T molasses
2.5-3 c flour (combination of whole wheat, AP and buckwheat flours)
I used 1 c whole, 1 c white and 1/2 c buckwheat, plus 1 T Gluten flour
1 t salt
1 t each fennel and anise (optional)
1-2 T flax seed (optional)
1-2 T sunflower seed (optional)

For starter, mix sourdough with flour. Forms a sticky dough -- let rise, covered, in warm place for 4-6 hrs (I preheat my oven w/ pizza stone for 1 minute, then turn it off).
For dough, cut up the sourdough starter and soak with water and molasses. Using paddle attachment, I mix it in my Kitchenaide (careful of splashing -- don't expect a smooth integrated dough). Start adding flour. Switch to dough hook once paddle can't handle it anymore. After all ingredients are in there and dough has pulled from the side, transfer to floured board and knead dough (not too much -- just stretch and fold). Let sit a few minutes (up to 1omin ), esp if still very sticky -- the gluten will develop and absorb more of the liquid.
For retarding step, place dough in the frig, covered, overnight (up to 3 days).
On baking day, take dough out of frig, knead and form into loaf. Let rise in banneton or loaf pan, in warm place, until risen (to roughy twice). Bake in preheated oven at 415 F on pizza stone with initial steam, for 1 hr+.

Last a rather ugly picture of a comparison of the pure sourdough bread with the one where I added 1 T commercial yeast in step 2 (in this case, I did also retard in the frig, and it's definitely over-risen -- probably could have done with half the yeast). For school sandwich purposes, the kids prefer the lighter version, but for a hearty German-style bread to go with soup or as a snack smeared with creamcheese and smoked salmon, I prefer the denser version!

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