I tested this recipe out using my own sourdough yeast starter that we grew together. After letting my loaves cool, I cut into them and ate a big slice… it was divine! I grew up on white bread, so loving a whole wheat bread is really an accomplishment in itself, but this whole wheat sourdough has just the right amount of tang.
This recipe comes from Cultures for Health who provides troubleshooting for working with a live yeast culture as well as sells supplies and cultures of all sorts for bread, cheese, water keifer, and more. Of course I made my own sourdough yeast culture, but their video on using a sourdough culture really helped me to improve my own bread baking. So thanks.
My bread still has some room for improvement, but at least my loaf is nice and airy instead of a dense brick. I think that may be a matter of feeding my sourdough starter a little better though.
Using the recipe below, I:
* made the full batch (which is two loaves) at divided it into two
* kneaded the dough for 12 minutes and used the “window pane test”
* used two glass loaf dishes that are 1.5 quart sized
* used butter to coat the loaf dishes before putting the loaves in to rise overnight
* did not do a second rise– I only allowed the single rise overnight (10 hours) after kneading the dough and then baked
* baked the two loaves at the same time for 30 minutes at 400*F
Hopefully this helps you get started in making your own bread. I know the only way to get my family eating solely home baked bread is to make it look like it came from the store and this doesn’t look too far off. If you want to make your own starter, take a look in the “D.I.Y. Projects” section of our website.
Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe from Cultures for Health website
2 1/3 cups Fresh Sourdough Starter
3 1/3 cup Flour
1 – 1 ½ cup Water (approximate)
Scant Tablespoon Salt
This recipe can be used to make a basic loaf of sandwich bread or artisan-style bread.
Mix sourdough starter, flour, and salt together. Use enough water to make bread dough. (A moist dough is preferable to a dry dough.) Knead dough until it passes the “window pane test” (a small piece of dough will stretch between four fingers thin enough to allow light to pass through without breaking). Shape the dough into a loaf. Place in a pan or proofing basket, or on a board. Cover lightly with a towel and allow the dough to rise for 4-24 hours. If desired, a short (4-12 hours) proofing period can be used and the dough can be punched down, reshaped and allowed to rise a second time, but a second proofing period is not required. Slice an X shape in the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife or razor blade. Bake at 400 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees (use a meat thermometer inserted into the bottom or side of the loaf). Bake 30-60 minutes (depending on loaf size). Allow the bread to cool before slicing.