Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rye Whole Wheat Sourdough

It's actually pretty amazing, but I've finished a Costco megasized 2-in-1 pack of Special K cereal within about a week. It kind of scares me because after reading Food Matters by Mark Bittman, I'm a little bit wary of pre-packaged foods. In fact, when I read the side of the now-empty box, I found that Special K, which I had always assumed to be very healthy, contains only 3 grams of fiber. That's still decent, but any less and it wouldn't be. Plus the addition of high fructose corn syrup...I don't know. Maybe I should be getting my whole grains through a more natural source.

So I went back to WildYeastBlog again and found a way to put my good ol' sourdough starter to use. This bread is a recipe that incorporates 3 kinds of flour - predominantly rye and whole wheat, with a small fraction of white bread flour. Talk about healthy. And surprisingly good, too, though I would prefer to add some caraway seeds next time for some texture. Oh, well, okay, you won't get anything near the delicious fluffiness of artisan white sourdough, but then again, with so much whole wheat and fiber packed in, you're going to have to expect a denser, coarser grain in your bread.

The recipe is a little time-consuming, mind you, but if you're going to stay at home anyway, the dough is pretty obedient and relatively low-maintenance (I feel like I'm talking about a potential suitor now).

Rye Whole Wheat Sourdough (adapted from WildYeastBlog)

Ingredients:

-415 g whole rye flour
-415 g whole wheat flour
-195 g high-gluten flour
-391 g ripe 100%-hydration rye (or sourdough) starter
-726 g water at approximately 70F
-24 g (4 t.) salt

 1. Mix the rye and whole wheat flour with 500 grams of the water. Mix until just combined, then let rest for 30 minutes.
2. Add the other ingredients, then knead until the dough is smooth and springy (about 8 minutes). The dough will be very sticky.
3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, then allow for the first rising at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours.
4. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 4-5 even pieces. Shape into balls, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
5. Shape the dough pieces into the shapes you want, then slash the tops.
6. Cover and proof for about 50 minutes at room temperature.
7. Bake covered at 450F for 10 minutes. Then uncover and bake another 20 minutes.
8. Crack the oven door open and bake for another 10 minutes.
9. Remove the bread, but DO NOT CUT IT OPEN! The bread must cool completely before being sliced, because it is so dense that the inside will stick together (even when it is completely cooked through). I actually waited until the next morning to slice it.

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