Saturday, January 3, 2009

Revision: Soaked Bread Tutorial

Alright, I made soaked bread again yesterday/today and I took pictures. So here's a more detailed explanation and a bit of a revision of my previous post about soaked bread.

Soaked Wheat Bread

Step One:
Mix all together:
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 c. kefir (or buttermilk, thinned yogurt, milk with 2 tblsp vinegar or lemon juice, or other acidic agent)
  • 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 14 c. freshly milled whole wheat flour ~ This batch has 1 1/2 cups of Rye flour as well, left over in the grain mill from what Mom had baked earlier .

Knead for a couple of minutes, then cover and let dough sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

I put mine it in the "warming cupboard" of our old wood cookstove.

Step Two:
Once your dough has set for 12-24 hours, "proof" your yeast:
  • scant 3 Tblsp active dry yeast
  • a tablespoon or so of honey
  • 1/2 c. or so of very warm water (but not hot)
  • 1/4 c. unbleached white flour
Once it begins to bubble up, pour into dough and mix together well. This is easiest if you have a powerful mixer that can knead bread, but you can do it in a large bowl with your hands as well.

Your dough will probably be pretty sticky at this point, so add a cup or two of unbleached flour until it is a good consistency.

Knead for 5 minutes in mixer, or 10 minutes by hand.

Put your dough aside and let it rise until doubled. Because your dough isn't warm, it will take several hours. To speed up the process you can put it in a warm room, near the fireplace or a heater, etc.Again, I put it in the wood cookstove. This time I needed it to be warm, so I put it in the oven part. Just make sure the fire isn't blazing too hot or your bread will bake!

Once the dough has risen, shape it into loaves or rolls, let rise again and then bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes (rolls) or 30-40 minutes (loaves). Yields 4 loaves.

A note on flours: I like Prairie Gold Hard White, sometimes adding in some Hard Red as well. Hard Red Wheat is strongly flavored and dense, which adds a nice nutty touch to the bread but you don't want to use it exclusively. It should be mixed half-and-half with Hard White Wheat.
pardon the spilled wheat berries all over the floor... ;-)

We have used several grain mills throughout the years, currently we use a Kitchen-Tech:

I hope this has been helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I'd be happy to help or receive critique! ;-)


lindsay edmonds said...

Curious why you don't use any acid medium for the soaking process? I understand this is pretty essential to break down the phytates in the grain. Love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

The Milkmaid said...

Lindsay ~

I was thinking the same thing as I typed the recipe out.... "shouldn't there be an acidic medium in here?"

I'm fairly new to the soaking process, so if you might kindly have a suggestion for me of what type/how much I could use (and one that wouldn't affect the flavor of the bread) that would be most welcome!

I don't do well with too much grain/complex starches, and even though this isn't soaked in an acidic medium I have found it to be easier on my digestive system than when it is not soaked in anything. I still can't gorge myself on it though! :-) I'm sure if I added some acid to the soaking process it would be even easier to digest.

Your thoughts would be welcome.

Thanks for the comment - I appreciate you spurring me on to further heights! :-)

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

I just love homemade bread. Yours looks very good!

lindsay edmonds said...

I have been doing some further experimenting with my own recipe and some of your experimenting. I made a batch today and simply substituted one cup or so of the water with kefir and it was wonderful! It didn't affect the flavor at all. You could also use cultured buttermilk as well. Hope that helps!

The Milkmaid said...

Thank you, Lindsay! I will try it next time I bake! ;-)