Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Making Bread with Fermented (Soaked) Flour

One of the principles of traditional diets is that whole grains must be soaked, sprouted, or fermented before cooking and eating.

When life is busy, this is one of the hardest steps to do since it requires planning ahead and knowing what you will back days before you make it.

I have recently gotten into a rhythm with my bread making, however, and begin soaking the flour for the next day's bread while the previous loaf is baking. Now, we don't run out of bread and the process is painless for me as it has become habitual.

This is my recipe for soaked grain bread:

1 cup water (warm)
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
1 TB whey (or 1/4 c yogurt)
3 cups whole wheat flour (fresh ground at home is best)

1 TB Rapadura (succanat)
1 TB honey
1 tsp warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast

1 egg, beaten
1 tsp sea salt
extra flour as needed

First, combine first 4 ingredients to form a dough. I use the bread machine and allow it to mix them into a dough before unplugging it. Allow to soak/ferment for 18-24 hours.

Remove dough from mixer/ bread machine. In mixer/ bread machine, combine next four ingredients (sweeteners, yeast, warm tsp. water). Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Add egg and salt.

Begin breaking the dough into small pieces and add a few to the machine. Turn on and keep adding more pieces of the dough until incorporated. You will need to add a little flour to get the right consistency. For this, Sally would be ok with unbleached white flour, you could also do sprouted grain flour if you have it. I just use wheat.

After the dough forms, allow the bread machine to continue on dough setting. When done, remove and put in buttered floured loaf pan and rise for 45 mins or until doubled and bake for 30 mins. on 350 F.

I hope that recipe works for you; you will likely need to experiment a little. I adapted it from Sally Fallon's recipe as well as my conventional bread machine recipe. If you have a KitchenAid but not a bread machine, you should allow it to rise for about an hour after it forms a good dough and is kneaded for about five minutes. After the hour, punch down and form into a loaf, then continue as directed.