Updated: Sep 13
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I have been making bread for a long time, however compared to someone who spends a whole life as a baker; I am just a bread-making hobbyist. It has been 10 years since I began this love affair with baking bread. On my website I already posted a few bread recipes (there is more to come):
Please, see a few recipes of sourdough bread here:
I Love to experiment with new recipes, especially when wild yeast is in the game for it is on very rare occasions that I use commercial yeast. If you like, please read here about how I got into the sourdough world of baking.
During the pandemic, I have to say that at the beginning of the lockdown, the supermarket shelves were almost bare leaving very few choices for baking supplies. The first product that seemed to quickly disappear was yeast. Apparently, people who never did much baking started doing so during the lockdown and I considered it a great change. Surprisingly many of my friends started using my sourdough starter who never thought they could work with it and make baking creations!
A few months ago, I posted a Copycat Kimchi Sandwich. Vegan and I promised to share the recipe for the bread that I used in that video. So today it's all about sourdough sandwich bread.
The school year it's just about to begin and sandwich bread is something that every mom needs, right?
This bread is a superfood in my opinion, with clean ingredients, slow and long fermentation that allows for the unlocking of all nutrients from the grains, and also gives the bread probiotics while destroying all phytic acids. I must warn you, it's an easy but not a quick bread: some breads require only 6-7 hours of fermentation and can be called sourdough bread, but not this one. The good news is only 37 minutes of hands-on time is needed during the entire process.
In making my whole grain baked goods, I'm now grinding my own flour. Last year Santa brought me a mill, and I absolutely love it. I think the freshly ground flour has so much to offer with its nutty aroma, zero stale taste and most importantly zero chemicals used to prolong shelf life.
Why whole wheat?
Whole grains have long been considered a key component of a healthy diet. In fact, some research says that grains have been widely consumed by humans for at least 100,000 years.
Whole grains are not only high in nutrients, but they have also been tied to a number of health benefits, including improved heart health, better blood sugar control and protection against inflammatory diseases.
In its natural state, wheat growing in the fields as whole grains is actually considered to be the entire seed (or kernel) of a plant. The seed contains three distinct parts: the bran, germ and endosperm. The wheat bran is the outer layer of the kernel, the germ is considered the embryo of the plant, and the endosperm provides it with nutrients and energy. All three parts make for perfect harmony, so buying whole wheat flour, even for occasional baking, is a great idea.
Why is making your own flour better?
You can control the quality of wheat kernels and skip on consuming unneeded additives. Wheat kernels are ground into flour between two stones. When metal grinders are used, for commercial brands, most nutrients like the hull and germ are removed, and the meal emerges fine-grained but without much flavor, plus lots of additives are put into the milling to prolong its shelf life. It also is more perishable, and without preservatives it will get rancid quickly, so if you are not planning to use it within a week or so, storing it in the refrigerator or freezer is a great idea as well.
So, what kind of flour should I use in this recipe?
When you buy whole wheat flour it is typically flour made from soft wheat that grows in a warmer climate. Store-bought whole-wheat flour is good for baking muffins, sweet breads, pancakes, etc. For wild or commercial yeast-based breads, you better choose the hard wheat with nice strong gluten.
I recommend that you use whole wheat flour that mills from hard wheat, like Hard Red Spring Wheat, and that's what I used in the video for this bread. Hard White Spring wheat, Kamut Wheat Berries, or Spelt Wheat Berries will also work in this recipe.
Why is long fermentation a good thing?
One observation frequently made to a diet based primarily on grains and pulses is that these foods contain phytic acid. Particularly abundant in the germ of grains and in the skins of pulses, it combines in the intestinal tract with calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc to form insoluble phytates that are then eliminated. According to some researchers, according to the Sally Fallon, the elimination of these minerals in the form of insoluble phytates can lead to severe deficiencies in those who nourish themselves predominantly with grains, unless the whole grains have been soaked or fermented before they are consumed.
Claude Aubert in his book Les Aliments Fermentés Traditinnels stated the following: " sourdough bread, with a long fermentation that is partially a Lacto - fermentation, the phytic acid is almost completely destroyed. On the other hand, bread made with brewer's yeast undergoes a rapid fermentation that is in large measure an alcoholic fermentation; and its phytic acid content remains largely intact. The phytase (enzyme needed to break down phytic acid) present in grains cannot do its work unless the PH becomes sufficiently low and the period of fermentation lasts a sufficiently long time".
Notes on storing
When it comes to baking bread, I'm all about saving time especially during the hot months and reducing the number of days for my baking projects. Therefore, when baking bread, I always bake a couple of loaves at a time: one to put into the freezer as soon as it reaches room temperature, and the other one to use. Store the loaf that you will be using in a paper bag for several days or slice and keep in a plastic bag at room temperature. Make sure that the bread has cooled completely before storing it. This bread is moist and perfect for sandwiches. Because it contains a little bit of oil, it can be kept for up to 7 days without going stale.
This recipe offers two loaves of sandwich bread.
Notes on starter
And as always, with all my sourdough baked goods, before you begin working on the recipe, I recommend you read my post about starter.
Regarding this recipe, I call it 100% whole wheat sandwich bread because all the flour used is whole-wheat flour. Typically, I usually feed my starter with regular all-purpose flour every 24 hours. This time I made an exception and for the last few feedings, I used whole wheat flour and fed it more often since whole wheat flour contains less starch/sugar (food for the wild yeast) and more fiber.
This step is totally optional; it's absolutely fine if you use your regular starter in a ripe and very active stage.
I hope you give it a try soon.
Let's bake it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Inactive time: 20 hours 35 minutes
Active time: 37 minutes
Baking time: 35-40 minutes
Total time: 21 hours 52 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Yield: 2 loaves
Ingredients for the sponge
1 cup of whole wheat flour (see notes above on flour)
1/2 cup of water
4 Tablespoons of sourdough starter (read a note above)
Ingredients for the dough
3 cups of water
8-9 cups of whole wheat flour (see notes above on flour)
3 Tablespoons of sunflower oil
3 teaspoons of barley malt syrup
4 teaspoons of salt
Mix all ingredients for the sponge in a bowl with a wooden spoon. No need a mixer at this point. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or dump kitchen towel and leave for 12 hours (room temperature or refrigerator).
2. For the dough, add the sponge into mixer bowl with hook attachment, and add all ingredients for the dough all at once.
3. Mix dough for 4 minutes on speed 2, then let rest 5 minutes.
4. Mix dough for 2 minutes on speed 4. Cover mixer bowl with plastic wrap or dump kitchen towel and let dough rest and proof. The ideal temperature 82F, but don't worry if your temperature cooler, will take little bit longer, it's ok.
5. After 50 minutes, stretch and fold the dough. Watch the video for this step.
6. Repeat this step 2-3 times. If you don't have time its ok to take a break and leave the dough in the fridge for longer resting period of time. Before each fold you expect doubling of dough.
7. Divide the dough in half with a dough cutter, then fold into two loves, please, watch the video for this step, and place into bread loaves pans (laying a baking paper first).
8. Brush a little bit with oil loves (this step is totally optional, but helps to preventing from sticking the plastic wrap to the dough), then cover very loosely with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 18-20 hours (overnight I do usually).
9. Take the dough from a fridge and bring to the room temperature, after seeing the dough start rising, may take an hour or two, uncover it, score the loves and place into preheated oven 475F for 35-40 minutes or until the bread reaches 205F. First 3-5 minutes with a steam. Using thermometer is a great idea.
10. After bread is taken from an oven, flip and realize from a pan immediately, let cool on cooling racks.
Enjoy this sandwich bread any way you like.