SMiLes by Meg

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Erik is here! After two years of long distance from Boston, Massachusetts to Anchorage, Alaska, we’re finally in the same place, for the long run – Washington, D.C.!

And because Erik’s back, it’s only fitting that this week’s recipe is one he claims we’ve made before, though it never appears on the blog, so I don’t know how that can be true – whole wheat sourdough bread.

This recipe is a modified version from the Tassajara Bread Book. We used starter from Alaska (shout out to Cathy Coon!) and realized that we probably no longer need to each have our own sourdough starter in the fridge, which is one of the more millennial things that happened recently. Fortunately, Molly has agreed to adopt mine, which I would otherwise be sad to part with.

So this bread is pretty easy, and made a great loaf that I think we could use for sandwiches. Start by making the sponge the night before. Take out about 3/4 cup of starter and put it in a large bowl. Add the warm water and stir to dissolve. Stir in 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour.

Erik is very adamant that you need to do 100 strokes here, so here’s a picture of him doing that:

Cover the sponge with a damp towel and let it sit overnight.

In the morning, take out 3/4 cup from the bowl to replenish the starter. To what remains, add the oil and seeds and stir to combine.

Add 1 cup of whole wheat flour and stir in. Then stir in up to 3/4 more cups of whole wheat flour as needed until dough reaches the right consistency. Turn out and knead until smooth and elastic.

Shape into a loaf and place in a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm place to rise until about double in size. We put ours on the balcony.

Brush the loaf with water and cut slits in the top.

Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake for another 45 minutes, until bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.

Is this not a really attractive loaf of bread?

We store ours at room temperature in a big ziploc bag. And definitely finish it within a week.

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup starter
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 4 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together starter and water to dissolve starter. Stir in 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour to form a sponge. Cover with a damp towel and let sit at room temperature overnight.
  2. Remove 3/4 cup from bowl and add back to starter to replenish.
  3. Stir in oil, anise seeds and caraway seeds until well distributed.
  4. Add 1 cup of flour and stir until incorporated. Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, until dough comes together.
  5. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  6. Form loaf and place in loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with damp towel and allow to rise in warm place about 4 hours, until doubled in size.
  7. Brush top of loaf with water and cut slits to vent.
  8. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 45 minutes, until top is browned and knocking on the bottom produces a hollow sound.
  9. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

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