Baking your own bread is a bit rebellious. Maybe you were under the impression that house-bound, country women like me choose to bake bread for the ultimate expression of domestic subservience. Quite the contrary. I bake bread because I am a domestic badass.
Besides, driving to town to buy bread takes longer than kneading and rising a batch, so I put together my loaves between other projects, like writing articles, or researching food history. Driving to town is two hours round trip, plus there is the expense of fuel. I would rather stay home, be a productive writer, and eat home made bread.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is a Fun Distraction
Sometimes when I write, I get stuck on a thought, and kneading out the thought process through dough therapy helps me finish my essays faster. Staring at my screen is rarely helpful. Usually as a distraction from watching an unmoving cursor, I will click onto a news feed to see if something newsworthy has happened. Firemen rescuing a kitten or a puppy are my favorite stories.
But kitty stories are simple distractions that lead to unproductive time. If I need a distraction, then I at least make it a delicious distraction that puts something on the table to represent the time I wasted. Hence, I bake my own bread.
Bake Bread Between Other Chores
I’m telling you all this so that you don’t feel bad for buying bread. If I lived near a bakery, I would work a quick trip to the bread shop into my day. But I live a long way from a bakery, and even further from a good bakery.
This recipe for Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread will give you a couple of decent loaves for sandwiches and toasting. The recipe for sourdough starter can be found in the Sourdough English Muffin recipe linked here. I will share a few more sourdough recipes, in case you are not the type to nurture a crock of sourdough. I occasionally put together a sourdough starter, and then use it up on different baking projects.Print
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 2 loaves 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: US
4 cups bread flour (500gr)
2 cups whole wheat flour (250gr)
1 tsp yeast (3gr)
2 tsp salt (4gr)
2 cups sourdough starter (480ml)
1 cup warm water (240ml)
Olive oil for coating
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 4 cups of bread flour, 1 cup (125gr) of whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Using the flat stirring blade of the mixer, turn the mixer on and gradually pour in small amounts of the sourdough starter and water alternately until all has been added. Change the flat mixing blade to the dough hook and add small amounts of the remaining flour until all is incorporated. The dough should be firm and fleshy, not sticky. If necessary, add more flour a spoonful at a time while the mixer kneads. Knead the dough for a total of 4 minutes on medium low speed. You can add up to an extra ½ cup (62gr) of bread flour if necessary.
Remove the dough from the mixer. If it is still sticky, hand knead it on a liberally floured surface for another minute to incorporate the right amount of flour. The dough should be bouncy and firm, but not hard. (The right texture takes practice, but you will get the hang of it!)
Coat the interior of a large bowl with olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl, and turn 1-2 times to coat the dough with olive oil. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
Coat the interior of 2 medium loaf pans 9″x5″x2.75″ (23cmx12.7cmx7cm) with olive oil or food spray. Punch down the dough, allow to rest for 5 minutes, and then shape into two loaf, placing the dough in the prepared pans. Allow the loaves to rise in a warm place for another hour, until they are doubled in bulk. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) for at least 15 minutes before the end of the rise time.
Once the loaves have fully risen, place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Bread is fully cooked when it sound hollow when crust is tapped. Remove the bread from the pans after 5 minutes of cooling, and then allow to cool completely before slicing.