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04 August 2016

Whole Wheat Sourdough Saga: Part 1

I've been looking for a whole wheat sourdough bread recipe.

My, but that's a mouthful to say. Sorry.
It should be a tasty mouthful when I'm done figuring it out.

But that's what I'm after: whole wheat sourdough bread. The kind that isn't hard like the rocks I'm making now, and that's pretty easy to make, and I won't be learning bakers' percents for this project. Ain't nobody got time for that!

I've discovered some things recently:

1. Mostly wheat bread (which is what I'm making now, because the texture is appalling when I make 100%) makes my cravings stop. So much for bread being evil! A while back, I discovered that I'm chronically short on magnesium. Hence the chocolate cravings. (Ahem. Pardon me while I grab some dark chocolate chips.) And the muscle twitches. And a couple of other annoying things. I've been messing around with my sourdough partly because it's fun, and partly because it's cheap and that matters right now, and after a while I realized that my chocolate is lasting longer - I no longer felt like I had to go grab a handful after the kids go to bed. Which is cool. I'm pretty sure that it's the wheat flour: that stuff's got a fair amount of magnesium in it, and fermenting it a bit before I cook it does some cool chemical stuff that makes a whole bunch of nutrients much more bio-available.

2. Lots of people cook with all sorts of flours. Apparently sourdough is fancy food. Whatever. I want egg salad sandwiches and toast with butter. I need something basic. I want no strange einkorn flour, rice flour, rye flour, nor anything like it. At least, not today. Just plain wheat.

3. You can substitute sourdough for baking powder. Which is mostly unrelated to anything here, but it's seriously cool. Takes a touch of planning, though.

4. Sourdough bread is not like white bread. Seriously. The finished product is similar, but the dough? It's a whole 'nuther critter. Practically needs its own word, it's so different from white dough. It's crazy stuff. And finding someplace that will give me a recipe for the proper care and feeding of the start (seriously, here! that stuff is alive!) so that it will magically make awesome bread... it's been a task.

So I'm trying this one. Perfect Sourdough Bread. She's suggesting a couple of changes from what I'm doing now: first, she feeds her start twice daily. I'd begun to suspect that mine wants that kind of treatment. I'm going to try it out. AND, she says that it ought to be thick. So I'm going to go a bit thicker than I have been. We'll see. I'm excited. I'll post pictures. And thus begins a Search For The Perfect Sourdough Saga. At least it'll be a tasty trip.

Onward to Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 or Part 5.

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