Multigrain Sourdough Loaf

I am so excited to share this recipe with you! As I mentioned in a previous post, sourdough is a new kind of monster for me, so I didn’t want to post a recipe until I had experimented and felt like I had a handle on it.

Well…it is so fun! Alex and I have had a blast caring for our little sourdough starter baby, trying new recipes (sourdough pancakes anyone??), and of course…eating our homemade bread. I highly recommend it…BUT it does take some effort to get your starter up and running. In my post about starting a sourdough experiment, I included some links to articles I found helpful when researching how to make a sourdough starter and I also added some tips that I learned through trial and error.

Once you have your starter…here’s an awesome recipe that I just made and fell in love with. It has the taste of sourdough, but the nuttiness of hearty multigrain bread!

Multigrain Sourdough Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sourdough starter (levain)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3.5 cups white flour + more for dusting
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T flax seeds
  • 1 T rolled oats
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 – 2 T pepitas

Directions

  1. Day before: Activate your starter! Get it out of the fridge and feed it (discard all but 1/2 cup of it, then add 1 scant cup flour and 1/2 cup water. stir and leave on counter covered lightly but not air tight). Feeding it the day before will get it active!
  2. Night before: Approx 12 hours after feeding it, take 1 tablespoon of your active starter and mix it with 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water. Leave it overnight to feed and get really active! This will yield approx 2/3 cup starter! You can also just measure out 2/3 cup of starter 12 hours after feeding it but I have had better results with the 1 Tablespoon, 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water mixture. (Put the rest of your starter back in fridge until you want to use it again.)
  3. Mix your active starter in with 2 cups of warm water. Use your hands to ensure it is dissolving in there.
  4. Add the olive oil and rye, spelt, whole wheat and white flour to the water mixture. Total amount of flour is 5.5 cups (you can switch up the amounts but the majority should be white in order for it to have a high enough gluten content to hold together and make a good textured loaf!). Use your hands to mix it together – stop once it is fully incorporated.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for at least 30 minutes for the dough to rest and absorb the moisture (called the autolypse).
  6. Add the 1 T of salt and sugar and knead into the dough by folding it in. If you need, add a little bit of water to help dissolve the salt and sugar. Mix until you no longer feel grains underneath your hands!
  7. Fold in the oats, flax, sesame and sunflower seeds – no need to knead the bread a lot, just get them in there.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and leave 4-6 hours in a warm spot so it can rise. Keep an eye on the bread and every once in awhile you can give it a few folds by pulling the dough over itself from top to bottom, rotating the bowl so you do it four times on each side of the dough. This helps get air into it to form the nice bubbles you want!

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    Dough after folds!

  9. Tip: If your kitchen is really cold, I sometimes turn my oven on WARM just for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and pop the bowl in there. If it feels TOO hot, let it cool down for a second before popping the bowl in. It is just nice to make it nicer than room temperature to help the yeast do it’s job and make the dough rise.
  10. Coat outside of the dough with pepitas and lightly flour it! After 4-6 hours and the dough has risen (maybe doubled in size), scrape the dough out of the bowl and roll it in pepitas (or sprinkle them on top of it), pressing them gently into the dough so they stick. Place the pepita covered dough on a lightly floured work surface. Fold the dough again by pulling the dough over on itself, rotating the bowl so you do it 4 times in each direction. The loose bits should be facing up, while the side on the counter is smooth and coated in flour.
  11. Shape the dough into a round shape by rotating it on a nonfloured work surface. Pinch the loose bits together and then carefully pick up the dough and flip it so the loose bits are down – place it on a non-floured area of the counter. Gently cup the dough with your hands and rotate it multiple times on the counter. It needs to be an un-floured area so the surface tension helps the dough stick to itself and form a tight ball.
  12. Line a bowl with a lightly floured kitchen towel and place dough in it (bottom up) for a second rise. Let it rise 30-40 minutes while you preheat the oven!
  13. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place your dutch oven inside it so it heats up.

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    ❤ my dutch oven!

  14. When you are ready to bake, carefully tip your dough out of the bowl and into the hot dutch oven. Heating up the dutch oven ensures your bread won’t stick. If you don’t want to heat your dutch oven, you can put corn meal in the bottom – that has also worked for me!
  15. Use a sharp knife to score the bread. Simple is once down the middle or a cross on top. I’m still not an expert at scoring, I’m excited to try fun shapes. The important part is that you cut it enough that the dough can open up. Creating this weak spot for your bread to expand will ensure your bread doesn’t crack in other places!
  16. Bake covered in dutch oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. 
  17. Reduce temperature to 425 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes covered. 
  18. Uncover the bread and allow it to bake another 20 minutes at 425. Keep an eye on it – the crust should get golden brown, almost to the point where you think it’ll burn – this helps it develop a nutty flavor and delicious texture inside.
  19. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool on a wire rack before you cut into it!
  20. Store in an airtight plastic bag! Enjoy 🙂
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