Bear in mind that the recipe below uses a sourdough starter. Don’t be intimidated by a sourdough starter. They are easy to make and maintain. The advantage of a sourdough starter is it allows the wild micro-organisms and naturally present enzymes to break down much of the protein, sugars and hard-to-digest anti-nutrients present in the flour. If you’re just starting out my recommendation is that you begin with wheat and progress onto a mixture of other flours once the family have adapted to and gotten used to the idea of eating traditionally baked bread.
½ tbsp. of salt
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 cup of sourdough starter
1 cup of whole wheat flour
3 cups of hard (high protein) wheat flour
Mix the salt, water and sourdough starter together in a bowl until the salt has dissolved.
Add the whole wheat flour (this is where the nutrients come in – the bran and wheat germ contain the B vitamins and omega-3 oils that make this such a valuable, nutritional loaf). Stir the whole wheat flour with a wooden spoon into the water, salt and starter.
Add the remaining three cups of white flour. With the hand bring the whole together in a ball.
Tip out onto the kitchen counter and begin to knead for five to ten minutes. If it’s too dry and crumbly add a touch more water. If it’s too wet add some more flour. The dough should no longer stick to your hands but it should not crumble and flake either.
When you are satisfied that the dough has reached the right consistency mould it into a round and put it in an oiled stone bowl. Leave to prove for 8-10 hours.
The wild yeasts, LABs and enzymes naturally present in the sourdough will leaven the loaf and set about transforming the anti-nutrients and sugars in the grain making it easier for us to digest and benefit from.
After 8-10 hours remove the dough from the bowl and knead one more time before forming it into a tight round ball. Make a cut of your choice on the top and place it on a buttered tin. Bake for one hour at 180 degrees in the oven.. Add a tin of water to add moisture to the oven and to prevent the crust from becoming too hard.
Ideally the loaf should rest for at least 30 minutes before being eaten since it is still baking as it cools down. We often eat it straight out of the over for breakfast – it does make it harder to cut but the warm taste and melted butter makes it worth the effort.