This recipe is just about as good for you as it gets. Oh, and just delicious. A daily staple in my house with jam for many years. The other favourite on this one is nutella. Linseed is full of goodness, and it's lovely to work with the soaked grain. This recipe is another Porridge Bread recipe, only to prepare the linseed, you'll need to follow the Blanched Method.
1kg of organic Lite Organic Flour (regular wholemeal flour will do if you are unable to access organic flour, or are a cheapskate, like me, at times...). You can also use a blend of lite organic and white flour if you prefer a lighter bread that still has lots of flavour. I like half lite, half white blended. Makes for a lovely soft loaf, especially if you allow the lite organic flour to hydrate well before adding the white flour.
300g of blanched whole linseed (Using Whole Grains tells you how to blanch them)
300 grams of sourdough starter - old dough, wet starter, whatever you have or use mostly. It has to be ripe, but the porridge mix will help activity along nicely. Be aware there is no provision to reserve more old dough in this recipe. Make sure you have some spare old dough, or have a liquid starter as a backup from which you can make more old dough ferment later. There is a lot of information about this process right here in the site. Have a browse around the Sourdough Starters section for ideas on what you can do to maintain a number of starters easily.
600 - 800 mls ml of warm water (always a flexible figure, and this recipe may well need more or less.Use your common sense, but add about 600 mls first and add more as required, a little at a time). Be aware that the dough will soften over time, so it's always better to make a tough dough at first, so that it doesn't end up too runny and therefore hard to handle.
You'll also need:
Two Bread Tins. This recipe makes two Loaves of about a kilo each. You can experiment with tin sizes until you find one that suits this sourdough loaf. It will rise well, but it takes a while to rise.
Mixing bowl or large plastic box.
This box will really make your home bakery a lot easier to manage. It contains all the dough without it spreading itself around your house, it proofs bulk and cut dough, and can be flipped over to final proof the doughs when tinned.
Digital Scales with 2 gm increments for up to 2 kg. Scales are almost unnecessary, but where you really need these is for things like salt, where it is very easy to taste your mistakes.
Measuring Jug for up to 2 litres. This one's useful - it's tall, so the gradations are far apart, allowing for greater accuracy. It has a sealed lid, so you can store preparations in an airtight environment. It's also see through, so it's easy to tell from the outside what's on the inside.
Dough Cutter. One of these for every home baker. You'll find them invaluable. They scrape benches, cut dough, clean dried dough from dough boxes, and all sorts of other things as well. I have several in different shapes and sizes and I use them for all manner of kitchen things.
Mix almost all the fairly warm water in your Water Jug (warmer than luke warm) with the Starter, and the cooled blanched linseed, stirring them together till it's softened all the starter. You can leave this to stand for ten minutes if you like.The temperature of this can remain a little warm for a while. Stir it all together again to form a loose paste with a large spoon. In the photos I've done all of this straight into the dough box.
Pour the paste into the mixing bowl and combine the flour. If you are using a blend of wholemeal and white flours, add the wholemeal first, and combine. Possibly add more water at this stage too - you want it to be soft enough to add the white flour shortly. You may need a splash more water to do this, but be sparing - at this stage the dough looks dry, but it will soften soon. I stir the flour around on top of the paste until it comes together, then proceed to the next stage. You may need to dribble a bit more water in as you do this. Just add a little at a time, because each time you add water the dough comes apart. Try to avoid this happening - add less next time.
Turn with both hands roughly till you form a big chunk of dough, no matter how rough. Rough is good. It's a fairly soft dough, so don't try to work it. Just tuck in the bottoms in until you form a ball in the bowl. You can do this a number of times before the salt is added, remembering to allow the unsalted dough to rest for at least 15 minutes between turns. Cover, and leave in a warm place. When it's beginning to become a smooth dough, allow to rest for half an hour, and move to the next stage.
Add salt by wetting the dough with either a spray gun or wet hands, sprinkling the salt over the top of the wet dough. You will notice a dramatic transformation from the rough chunk you left an hour ago to this smooth thing in your hands now. That's 'Delayed Salt' at it's finest.
Knead it in until combined, which will be when the salt can't be felt as you knead. Round the dough, and leave with the seam on the bottom.
Let the finished dough rest and rise for about three to six hours, depending on the season. It's ready when you poke it and there is little, if any, resistance.The more springy a dough feels when you poke it, the less ripe it is. And of course, the inverse is also true.
If it resists, it isn't ready. If you run out of time, the dough in its covered container can be simply placed in the fridge. It will comfortably store for up to 24 hours there, and you can take it out and continue from where you left off, allowing for some thawing time. The potential risks with doing this are:
- 'Retardation', as it's called in bakeries, by decreasing the temperature of the dough to stop the growth of yeast increases sourness. This may be desireable, or not. You'll need to experiment. Bakeries regularly utilise the retardation of dough or formed bread very effectively.
- If your sourdough starter is out of balance or immature when used, the decrease in temperature can simply knock it over, causing it to just cease activity altogether. This can be redeemed by thawing and feeding with a little more flour and water, but you don't want the hassle. Lesson: learn to read and feed the starter correctly!
Now cut the dough into two chunks of roughly one kilogram each. Round them, with the seam at the bottom. Rest for an hour or so. Again, if you poke the dough and it resists, it isn't ready yet. If it feels like it is giving in, it's ready.
Form into two cylinders, just by squeezing the bottom in with the outside of each of both hands, as if you are holding an open book in both palms. Place dough cylinders in pre oiled bread tins.
Slash with five longitudinal slashes along the loaf. Allow to rise, covered, for about an hour - this bread rises quite a bit, but quite slowly.
Keep it in its box, in a warm place.
When the tin is broached by about a quarter of the dough inside, in other words when the dough has risen to completely fill the tin, it's ready for baking. If you've made good dough, you can achieve a good height in this loaf. It's all in the turns!
Bake at 160 degrees in a prepared oven (see 'how to use an oven properly') for 55 to 75 minutes.
If you like a really thick crust, wind the oven down to 140 and bake for another half hour.
This bread was the all time steadiest seller at my Bakery in Leura. It also keeps very well.
You can see how moist and rich it is. Linseed bread is sweet and delicious.
Happy Sourdough Baking!