I have been experimenting with sourdough and have developed a new recipe which takes about 25 hours to make but it is, in my opinion, so much better tasting and doesn’t need yeast to help it along. It is no more work, just more time. It is chewier and richer in flavor.
I now sterilize jars and utensils, and use boiled water which has been cooled, for replenishing the starter to prevent contamination. Another change is that I take the one cup of starter and add 1 cup water and enough unbleached white bread flour to it to be the consistency of the usual starter and let that set out for 6 hours (until bubbly) before mixing it into the rest of the ingredients. After rising this initial mixture for ~6 hours I mix in the rest of the ingredients and let it rise until double (usually another 10 hours). Rising times are very approximate. The type of flours used at each step have significant impact on the outcome so take care in substituting. I use all purpose for the starter maintenance, white bread flour for the first rising to grow the starter quickly, and then the whole grain last because the rising slows with this flour. So, I am going from higher starch flour to lower starch flours.
Here is the process….
1 Cup starter
1 Cup water
White unbleached bread flour – enough to bring it back to consistency of the usual starter.
Rise 6 hours or more and then add:
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 Teaspoons salt
I don’t measure the flour but slowly add about 1/2 Spelt flour and 1/2 rye flour to the right consistency to knead the dough.
Rise 10 hours, knead, divide into two loaves.
Place into greased bread loaf pans and rise another ~6 hours.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 1/4 Cups warm water
1 Cup milk
1 Cup sourdough starter
2-2.5 Teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
Whole wheat flour
All purpose or unbleached bread flour
Mix all ingredients except flour together then add flour slowly until you can turn out on board to knead. Knead well (at least 8 minutes). I use about half white flour and half whole wheat flour.
Rise for about 5 hours until at least doubled. Knead, divide dough in half and shape two loaves to place in oiled loaf pans. Rise again about 2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour (can add in a small portion of rye flour)
1 Cup corn meal
1 Teaspoon salt
1 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cups Molasses (I prefer blackstrap molasses)
1 2/3 Cups milk (can use part yogurt or all buttermilk instead)
1/4 Cup raisins (optional)
Special equipment: a double boiler…I am not sure what size is best but maybe some where between a 2qt and 4qt. I’ll do some testing. UPDATE: I found a slightly different recipe at NewEnlgand.com. I’m going to try it! https://newengland.com/today/food/breads/quick-breads/brown-bread-in-a-jar/
Mix together dry ingredients then add molasses and milk. Mix well. Pour batter into greased top part of double boiler. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the double boiler and place top part with batter on top. Use pan lid to cover. Bring to boil then immediately lower to low heat and steam for 3 hours on stove top. Check to assure the bottom pan does not run out of water and add if needed. Makes 1 loaf of slightly sweet, dense bread that is nice warmed up, with butter.
Every Christmas I make cinnamon bread using this recipe. It is the recipe handed down from my grandmother Hazel (Davenport) Wilson. I started making it when I was a teenager.
I’ve made a couple of minor changes that I will note in the recipe.
Makes one loaf (modification: I double the recipe and make 3 loaves)
1 Cup scalded milk (really just have to heat to warm because milk is now pasteurized)
1/4 Cup melted butter
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 warm water
~ 3 1/2 Cups bread flour (hard or red wheat)
1/4 Cup sugar mixed with 1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon (modification: I add 3 teaspoons or more of cinnamon). I actually don’t measure this and am pretty heavy handed with the mix.
Melt butter, warm milk then mix together and add sugar and salt and cool (if needed) to temperature of yeast mixture. Mix yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (I hold my finger in the water to test if it is very warm but not too hot to hold my finger in it – google says 105 to 110 degrees but I’ve never measured). Beat egg and add to milk mixture. Add yeast to milk mixture once it has been activated by the warm water.
Mix in flour a little at a time until too heavy to mix with spoon. Turn out and board and knead about 5 minutes or more if needed. Add flour until dough no longer sticks to board. Place in large bowl coverd with dishtowel and let rise until double ( about 1 hour). Then punch down and turn out on board, cover with cloth and let rest 10 minutes (I don’t always do this but it makes it easier to roll out with rolling pin. The recipe says to roll out into a rectangle 7 1/2 x 19 inches – my grandmother used to actually measure. I like to roll it narrower and longer so I get more cinnamon swirls in the loaf. Brush rolled out dough with whole milk and evenly sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up and place loaf in well oiled (I use olive oil) bread pan. Brush top with additional melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.
Wondering if it would be just as good with whole wheat flour? I tried it and did not like it.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Test with knife to assure its done.
* If you are making one recipe into one loaf it will likely take the full 45 minutes. If you double the recipe and then split it into 3 loaves they will need to bake for 25-30 minutes.