When I revive my sourdough starter, I want to make it really worth it, so I bake a loaf (at least) every day for a week, or however long I feel like feeding and caring for it.
This week, I’ve been making loaf after loaf of sourdough and rye, so this was a nice diversion.
You will need:
3/4 cup grains (I used polenta, wheat bran and oatmeal. All are quick-cooking (barley and rice, unless already cooked, are not good candidates for this)
57 g whole wheat bread flour (I used white whole wheat)
½ t kosher salt
170 g very hot water
186 g 100% sourdough starter
134 g whole wheat bread flour
77 g water
Soaker, all of above
Biga, all of above
244 g whole wheat bread flour
1 T canola oil
2 T agave nectar
2 t kosher salt
- Mix together the soaker ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until warm but not hot. If you can stick your finger in the mixture and don’t want to immediately pull it back out again, it’s a safe temperature.
- You’re supposed to let the biga and soaker sit overnight, but I didn’t. I figured the starter was active and the hot water cooked the grains.
- After an hour, I mixed up the final dough and let it rise. The final dough as written was pretty dry so I added some heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt.
- Then I punched it down and divided it into three strands. The dough was still pretty sticky.
- Roll out the three strands until they are about 18 inches long. Then pinch one end together and braid the strands. Pinch the other end and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel for an additional 45 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Meanwhile your husband/photographer snaps your child doing this:
- When the oven is ready, brush the dough with egg wash and bake for 40 minutes or so. When it’s done, let it cool completely before slicing into it.I wish I could’ve taken a picture of the crumb, but it was for church so I could not. It got rave reviews though! My pastor was really impressed with the braiding, which is so funny because it’s really easy. Maybe I’ll teach a challah class someday.