Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Multigrain Sourdough

Last week I made {these} yummy Avocado Toasts for breakfast and I promised that I would share the recipe for the bread sooner rather than later.

So here I am...bread recipe in hand.  Or on screen rather.

As I mentioned in the breakfast post, this recipe came from the Flour cookbook.  If you haven't read that post, I suggest it.  I sing a praise or two for Joanne Chang.

That being said, you should remember that this woman knows what she's doing.  The art of making homemade bread may be a time consuming one BUT it is so unbelievably worth the wait.  I would spend triple the time on it just for another loaf...and these are the reasons why:

1) It comes out looking BEAUTIFUL.  Making you feel like the greatest artisan baker in the world.
2) There is a nice crunchy golden crust and a {make your knees go weak} soft doughy inside.
3) It has a hearty, earthy taste due to the different flours and added grains.
4) It cuts beautifully.  Making the perfect toasts.
5) And it's possibly the most gratifying thing to ever come out of my oven.

Ready to give it a shot?

Makes: Two 8-Inch Round Loaves   Prep Time: 6 hours (not including time for the Bread Sponge)   Bake Time: 30 minutes   Total Time: 8 1/2 hours (prep + baking + cooling)

{Printable Recipe}

1 1/2 cups water, at body temperature
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2-3 tablespoons for baking
12 ounces Bread Sponge *see note*
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/3 cup millet
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup flaxseeds
handful of medium-coarse yellow cornmeal for the baking sheet

*For bread sponge: In a medium bowl, stir together 3/4 cup water, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast until well mixed and sloshy.  Place in a covered container and leave at room temperature for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.  After 4-8 hours stir in 1/4 cup flour.  Re-cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or a large bowl and wooden spoon), mix together the water, whole-wheat flour, buckwheat flour, and 3 cups all-purpose flour on low speed for about 1 minute, or until you have a "shaggy" stiff dough.  Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. On medium-low speed, add the bread sponge, honey, and salt.  Mix for 3-4 minutes or until incorporated and the dough is sticky but smooth.  (Joanne describes the texture here to feel like an earlobe.  If it's stiffer than that, slowly add a little water.  If it's looser than that, slowly add a little flour.)  Once this consistency is reached, add the millet, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds mixing together for another 2-3 minutes or until the seeds are evenly distributed.
  3. Lightly cover the dough (still in the bowl) with an oiled piece of plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.  Place the bowl in a warm place for 3-4 hours.
  4. Flour your hands and work surface and turn the dough out of the bowl.  Divide the dough in half with a knife.  Shape each half into a ball by tucking the edges of the dough underneath and then continuing to tuck the edges underneath until the dough naturally gathers into a ball with a taut surface.  (At this point the dough can be covered and refrigerated overnight.  Remove them the next day and proceed as directed.)
  5. Sprinkle the cornmeal on a baking sheet to keep the loaves from sticking, and place the loaves on the baking sheet at least 3 inches apart.  Cover them loosely but completely with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
  6. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 500°.
  7. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with 2-3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  Slash the tops of the loaves with a knife to form an X.  Place the baking sheet in the oven.  Place a rimmed baking sheet with 2 cups of water on the oven rack below the bread.  The steam from the water will create a moist atmosphere for the bread to grow.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown on top and make a hollow sound when you thump them on the bottom.
  8. Let the loaves cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes.  Then transfer the loaves to the rack for at least 2 hours before serving.
  9. Give yourself a pat on the back, cut the loaves, and enjoy!  You just made homemade sourdough!


P.S. - I'm off to the first Copley Square Farmers Market of the year!  Rest assured that I will be sharing all of the wonderful things I pick up.

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