I love sourdough! A good sourdough starter is a masterpiece of living organisms. Recently I have been curious about working with Einkorn flour. I heard about all its wonderful health benefits so I started experimenting a bit. I had some leftover starter from my bread baking and I thought I would make some sourdough waffles to stash in the freezer (our family loves them and they are much healthier than the commercial frozen waffles!). As I read the recipe, I thought it would make a great base for muffins and quick bread which we love for tea time and breakfast as well. A few friends had made quick breads with einkorn flour which looked amazing, so I thought why not try a sourdough quick bread! The sourdough process helps break down protein strands for easier digestion and is the precursor to commercial yeasts and baking powders that we now use to leaven baked goods with, I thought it would compliment the fact that Einkorn is an ancient grain. So after a little of this and a little of that…I bring you Sourdough Einkorn Breakfast bread!
The additions to the batter can vary. This time I used raisins, apples, orange oil, and slivered almonds; but the sky is the limit so feel free to be creative!
Sponge (feeding the starter)
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
2 1/2 cups Einkorn Flour
2 TBS sugar (honey or maple syrup will work as well)
2 cups liquid (I used whole milk, but milk kefir, nut milks, or even water will do)
Mix ingredients together and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for about 8 hours. No more than 12. Einkorn sourdough “dies” quicker than regular wheat flour. Mine sat overnight. After everything is mixed, it is about the consistency of a thicker pancake batter. After 8 hours, you should see lots of surface bubbles. Don’t expect the starter to double in size or really “grow”.
All of the Sponge
2/3 cup einkorn flour (I get mine here)
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup melted butter
10 drops of Orange Essential Oil (I get mine here)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into 2 8X4 (medium sized) loaf pans that have been greased. Bake in a 350 oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You could also pour into prepared muffin tin and have muffins. Allow bread to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto cooling rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy plain or with some butter!
Do you have a sourdough starter ready to use but can’t find a simple recipe? Look no further. I have you covered!Last week I posted my how to make your starter and now we will use that starter to make delicious bread! Let’s get started.
Items You Will Need:
A large non-metal bowl preferably glass or ceramic (like this one)
Organic Flour (find some here)
Sea Salt ( like this one)
Your sourdough starter ( get my recipe here or purchase one here)
2 medium loaf pans (these are perfect)
Non-metal spoon (like these)
The first step in making most sourdough recipes is to use your starter to create what is commonly called the Sponge. Next to the starter, the Sponge will have the longest wait time, but is very critical to the process and benefits of sourdough.
You will Need:
1/4 c. Sourdough starter
1 c. Water
1 3/4c flour
- In a bowl, put starter and water and mix well to saturate starter.
- Add flour and mix very well.
- Then knead for a couple minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be kind of heavy and slightly tacky. You can also put everything in a stand mixer with your dough hook and knead until you have a nice ball.
- Put in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap.
- Let sit undisturbed for 12 hours. This maximizes the health benefits and really helps to develop the characteristic sourdough flavor. Don’t lessen the wait time!
The Sourdough Bread Recipe:
After all the waiting you are complaining there. This process is most like standard bread baking for those who have made homemade bread.
You will need:
4 1/2 c. Flour
1 3/4 c. Water
2 1/2 t. Sea Salt
Your Sourdough Sponge
- In stand mixer bowl (or large bowl), combine sponge and water. Saturate the sponge.
- Add salt and flour.
- Mix until you have a soft ball forming.
- Knead. If using a stand mixer, knead for about 2-3 minutes. Kneading helps activate the gluten to give you a beautiful rise and texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 7-8 minutes. The dough should be soft, pliable, and just a little tacky.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Depending on warmth of your kitchen and humidity, this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
- After the dough has risen, separate into 2 equal portions.
- Shape into loaves and place loaves into loaf pans that have been dusted with flour.
- Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until doubled. This usually takes 45-90 minutes.
- Finally, when loaves are risen, bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Take bread out of loaf pans. Thump the bottom of the loaf (its done if it sounds hollow).
- Cool on a cooling rack for at least one hour. If you eat it fresh out often oven which you will tempted to do, it will taste very bland.
Congratulations! You have made sourdough bread! Other than some patience, it’s very simple and nutritious! Enjoy and let me know how yours turned out!
For more recipes, information, and ideas about sourdough check out these articles from my blogging friends:
Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas by Prairie Homestead
Tips for Using and Maintaining a Sourdough Starter by Our Heritage of Health
Another Sourdough Bread Recipe by Our Small Hours
Pumpkin Nut Sourdough Muffins by Reformation Acres
Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins by Fancy Nonsense
Sourdough English Muffins by Life From the Ground Up
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By now ya’ll know that I love to bake bread. For me it is therapeutic. The act of kneading dough is a great stress reliever and the smell of it baking in the oven is the best aromatherapy ever! It’s relaxing to me, that when I am busy running around and chasing kids that I can go into the kitchen and create something that has been made for thousands of years. In this day of gluten free and paleo diets and the whole low carb craze, bread often gets a bum wrap. However, many people in the past survived on bread. Yes, I believe it was very different from what we have now in many cases, but it was a household staple.
During the 1900s our country commercialized bread. We started ingesting bread that was made by machines and with GMO grains that were chemically bleached and enriched. The bread that was once a healthy staple in our homes quickly became a very unhealthy one. As the obesity epidemic continues in our country I sometimes wonder how. Most people I know eat whole grain breads that they buy from the grocery store. Some restaurants offer whole grain buns and breads instead of white flour. Several people I know eat the low calorie, low carb, whole grain breads on the grocery store shelves. What gives? They still battle their weight and they aren’t all that healthy. My theory- it’s the commercial process of baking bread. Even the “good” breads last way too long on the shelf. I don’t see that as a good sign. When I bake homemade bread I am lucky if it lasts 1 week without spoiling. I have had commercial bread (whole grain, reputable brands) last weeks in the pantry!
When I make sourdough bread at home there are 4 ingredients I starter, Flour, water, and salt. The ingredients in commercial sourdough breads is usually many more. For example here is the ingredient list for a popular brand of sourdough bread taken from that brand’s website :
|ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, YEAST, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: SALT, SOYBEAN OIL, ACETIC ACID, VINEGAR, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, MONOGLYCERIDES, XANTHAN GUM, CELLULOSE, TAPIOCA STARCH, WHEAT STARCH, ENZYME, CALCIUM PROPIONATE AND CITRIC ACID (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS)
High Fructose Corn Syrup? Tapioca starch? soybean oil? Why? Because how else would it last through cross country transportation? Gone are the times where there is a neighborhood bakery. Most bakeries in my area specialize in cakes and cupcakes. Beautiful and yummy, but not for everyday consumption.
I have to say that since I have been making my own breads, I have less digestive issues than with commercial breads. Personally I feel it’s because I focus on buying organic flours from reputable companies that don’t contain GMO grains. I don’t have any scientific proof, but believe it is because my body isn’t stressed by processing unnecessary chemicals and toxins on top of the bread. My husband says there is nothing quite like coming home to the smell of fresh baked bread. He says if I could bake bread around the clock for the aroma he would probably never want to leave. I take it as a compliment. Of course he doesn’t mind eating the bread either 🙂 Bread is a labor of love. There is the mixing and the kneading and the waiting for it to rise, but the reward is great. Nice beautiful wholesome bread for a fraction of the cost of store bought.