Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whole wheat sourdough bread and more

Whole wheat sourdough


For anyone following the sourdough starter thread, here's a bit of an update and another recipe. Two weeks ago, I baked 2 loaves of San Francisco sourdough. I wanted to make another batch, this time with more tang.

So, I mixed up the sponge portion of the recipe and allowed it to sit on the counter for two full days, instead of 14-36 hours, as the recipe instructs. At the end of the first 24 hours, I gave my sponge a feeding of one cup of flour, stirred in well. I wanted the sourdough to have something to continue to feed on for the next 24 hours. This one cup came out of the recipe's portion of flour for the final mixing of the dough.

At the end of 48 hours, I divided the dough, one half for a loaf, the other half for bread sticks.  The loaf did indeed turn out with more tang. It had a good flavor.  The bread sticks were great right after baking, but didn't have the keeping quality of loaf bread -- they were almost too chewy on the second day.  If I do breadsticks again with this sourdough starter, I'll follow a recipe that incorporates some butter in the dough, for tenderizing.

My starter has been doing well in the fridge for two weeks. Last weekend I brought it out for some whole wheat sourdough. The starter had a layer of fermented liquid on top, which I stirred in before measuring out some for extending of the starter.  I took out 1 cup and extended it --1 cup of starter stirred up with 2 cups warm water and 2  1/2 cups flour.

I let this sit overnight, then the next morning I returned 1 cup of this extended starter to my container in the fridge. With the remaining extended starter I did another baking of bread, this time adding whole wheat flour to the dough. I used about half white flour,  half wheat flour. I chose to make this in the old style, without added yeast (as a frugal person, one of the reasons I like to bake with sourdough is it's less expensive without the additional cost of purchased yeast). I increased the sugar just a bit, from 2 teaspoons (in the all white flour recipe) to 3 teaspoons. Whole wheat breads are often enhanced by a bit more sweetening, so that's what I did.

To make whole wheat San Francisco sourdough bread, go here , and make these modifications:


  • when adding flour for the sponge, use 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, and allow the sponge to stand for 14 hours.
  • when adding sugar, add 3 teaspoons instead of 2 teaspoons
  • when adding additional flour, use a combination of half white, half whole wheat



This will make a good, part whole wheat sourdough bread, in the San Franciscan style.


By the way, the woman who gave me my first starter 20 years ago, also gave me the recipe for the San Francisco style bread. But I do not know where that recipe came from. But I understand that it's quite authentic. The pancake recipe is my own, but very similar to most sourdough pancake recipes.

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