The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sour Cream 100% Whole Grain Sourdough

isand66's picture

Sour Cream 100% Whole Grain Sourdough

  Ever since I received my new toy I've become obsessed with using freshly milled flour in my bread baking.  Since I was traveling last week for a job interview I didn't have any time to bake until this weekend so I refreshed my mother starter, created a levain using some of the refreshed starter and just to see what would happen, I added some sour cream in place of some of the water to make the levain.

I also used some additional sour cream in the main dough along with freshly ground Kamut, Rye, and Hard White Whole Wheat.  I have not been sifting any of the flour, just grinding it at the finest setting and using as is.

After suffering from bakers withdrawal I felt the creative juices ready to burst out so I threw in some grated white cheddar that I had bought at Whole Foods and some Tahitian Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar just because I bought it along with a bunch of other flavored vinegar and oils right before mixing this one up.

The final bread came out great with a nice open crumb for a high percentage whole grain bread.  The sour cream is about 73% water so it really bumped up the hydration of the final dough but it wasn't too hard to handle at all.  It actually made a nice silky smooth dough.

I had a nice meatloaf sandwich for lunch on this bread today and it was wonderful.




Levain Directions

Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, sour cream and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and balsamic vinegar and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Add the cheese and mix for another 1 minute and then remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.  I made 1 large boule shape.   Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.


Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.


After 1 minute lower the temperature to 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.


A bread fit for a Queen...Cleopatra approves....




Bakingmadtoo's picture

Another beautiful bake. I am sure you are using all these beautiful flavoured vinegars to make me jealous! Vanilla balsamic sounds amazing.

Please may I ask, what is the benefit of the one minute at 500 degrees? I am certain you have good reason to do this and I am intrigued.

By the way, Cleopatra is stunning.

isand66's picture

Thank you so much for your kind words.

In regards to the 500 degrees for 1 minute, I'm not sure if it really makes much of a difference.  I have been experimenting with the temperatures to see if it improves the crust color and have tried going down incrementally from 550 to 450 degrees.  I'm not really sure it has made much of a difference.  I used to start at 500 degrees and go to 450 after a few minutes and now I start higher and eventually lower to 450 for the majority of the bake.

Cleopatra says thank you.  She is one of 5 cats we have and is a big mush.


Mebake's picture

Great. This looks fabulous, Ian. I have never put any cheese in bread yet (emphasis on yet). 

Sure must have pleased "her Majesty, the cat" :)


isand66's picture

Thank you Khalid.  I hope you try adding some cheese to one of your breads.  I am sure you will love it.  I used grated cheese or really shredded cheese for this one but you can use cubes as well.

Cleo just wanted some of the cheese...:)


dabrownman's picture

cream cheese in bread until I saw you did and now it is a normal thing  - especially for rolls.  Still not putting in the vinegar but since my daughter got me 3 flavored ones for Chrstmaka I will ave to use them up somehow other than just part of the Italian dips with oil, herbs, pepper and hard stinky grated cheese for SD bread of Salad dressing.

They say that vinegar strengthens the gluten but have always let the sourdough do that thinking too much acid would possibly be detrimental to it -  but obviously the amount you use is not  harmful;  the crust and crumb look great and the yellow tinge the Kamut gives to the crumb and crust is one of my favorites.

I know that you wouldn't put olives in there but this bread would tempt me to so so :-)  Cleo looks like she is ruling the cat napping space just fine!

Nice baking Ian and Lucy says Hi to Max! 

isand66's picture

Thanks DA.  Not sure how much the balsamic really adds to this one as far as taste, but I have never found it to cause any detrimental effects.  You would like the flavor of this one and with the cheese it just can't be bad.

Max is napping in his bed with his kitty brothers and sisters napping on their cat tree next to him.

Happy baking.

Look forward to your next one.


Foodzeit's picture

making your own meatloaf? That is a bit like I started first, I made my meatloaf and had no nice bread to go alongside with. So I started making bread because of my meatloaf - LOL

isand66's picture

I wish I had some meatloaf left!  I always make my own and in the summer I make it in my grill with some nice wood smoke and it's amazing.



Foodzeit's picture

to put some onions, pepper and paprika into mine. At the German butcher shop they usually call this "Pizza meatloaf". I can imagine that one in your smoker -> heavenly :)