multigrain sourdough hodgepodge
I've been experimenting with several recipes to find that elusive combination of healthful grains and light enough texture for the kids (and the hubby). I stumbled upon a combination recipe that seems to be working and wanted to share.
My husband is very picky about multigrain breads. He wants the health benefits, but doesn't want that crunchy grainy feel. He often finds my multigrain breads too dry. The other day, quite by accident, I stumbled upon a solution that he'd like to see as our "daily bread".
How to start?...
Much to my experimenter's chagrin, my family love Leader's Classic Country style Hearth Loaf from "Bread Alone". This is his learning loaf and it is a very good, easy to succeed at loaf. Twist #1: I usually make it in two loaf pans so that it is easier to use for lunchbox sandwiches. My family love it. My 7 y.o. son and husband both say it reminds them of the wheat bread we used to buy at our local store in Cape Town, South Africa, where we lived until recently. They like to call it my "South African Bread".
Twist #2: I decided on a whim to make this bread by replacing the poolish with an equal weight of 100% hydration sourdough starter. My starter has a pretty balanced flavor and isn't too sour, so this results in a wonderful tasting bread that is moist and has keeping power.
OK - so after receiving BBA for Christmas, I decided to try out the Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire recipe and mix up the soaker. Instead of the rolled oats and wheat bran, I substituted an equal amount of Bob's Red Mill 6 grain cereal. The next morning, I forgot which recipe I was following (had packed away the books the night before) and had to quickly mix up the dough and get out of the house. I mixed my old standby (see above) and added in the soaker. No change to the recipe for the Country style Hearth Loaf, save using a bit more flour than I normally do. Voila! Twist #3. I was so skeptical, but happily surprised when DH proclaimed this "the best bread yet"! I have since made this many times with the same positive result, even varying the soaker ingredients.
I've yet to try it with another bread dough recipe, so I don't know if this technique of just adding the soaker to any old loaf will work, but the results here were so positive I am definitely going to give it a try!
I only wish I were a better photographer - today's loaves turned out beautifully...not only did the starter respond beautifully in the sunny kitchen, but I'm learning to tame my lame, so the slashing worked well and looked good.