I got this recipe from the king Arthur Flour Website. This bread is so good that I wanted to share it with you. I double the recipe to make two loaves; one to keep and one to share! This bread freezes well too. When the bread has completely cooled, I slice it up and double bag (with bread bags that I buy at the grocery store) the bread. When I need some bread I just pull out the slices I want and either thaw (in another bag) on the counter or microwave the slices for 15 seconds.
This sourdough bread is a nice 9 by 5 inch loaf that my family will eat up in less than a week. I would describe this bread as a light tasting hearty bread. Some whole wheat breads are very 'whole grain' tasting, while this bread has a more mild delicate flavor. It compliments any sandwich you make, and it is great for toast. On its own the bread is surprisingly soft and moist. When you spread some butter and a drizzle of honey on a warm thick slice of this whole wheat bread, it is heavenly! When you smell freshly baked bread wafting through the house, it will give you an amazing sense of accomplishment, and your family will be salivating just from the smell!
2 Cups Sourdough Starter (fed and ready to use)
2 and 1/4 Cups Lukewarm Water
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1/4 Cup Olive Oil (I use light olive oil)
6 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour or Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Whole Grain Bread Improver (optional)
2 Teaspoons Salt
In a large bowl combine the warm water, yeast, and olive oil. In a medium bowl whisk whole wheat flour, bread improver (if using), and salt. Stir the sourdough starter into the wet ingredients, and add the flour mixture.
Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
Let dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
Knead on a lightly floured surface, until fairly smooth and slightly sticky. It will take approximately 5 minutes.
Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough with kitchen towel.
Let rise until almost doubled. This will take 60 to 90 minutes.
Divide dough into 2 parts.
Gently fold one dough part over a few times on a lightly floured work surface. Repeat with second dough part.
Shape into an eight inch log.
Place dough in two ungreased 9 by 5 inch loaf pans.
Cover the loaf pans and let rise, until they are crowned 1 inch over the rim of the pan. This will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of rising time, preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes or until the loaves are golden-brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and let sit in pans for 5 minutes.
Turn the loaves out of the pans and onto a rack to cool.
This recipe makes 2 loaves.
You will notice on the ingredient list 'whole grain bread improver'. The first time I made this bread, I did not use the improver, and the bread turned out great! The second time I made the bread I did add the improver and did not notice a big difference. Honestly, if it were up to me, I would not include the improver, because this bread will come out great no matter what! I hope you give sourdough a try! Your taste buds will thank you for it!
(edited by Anna Weicht)