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11 Grain Sourdough

I’m very proud of my sourdough these days. I’m making an eleven grain and seed mix that costs cents, takes minutes, and tastes good enough that I’m making it twice a week most weeks with little incentive to experiment.

Here it is in pictures.

First the starter, taken out of the fridge before I go to bed and fed with a mug of baker’s flour mixed with a mug of water.  A cup and a half of it put back in a jar with a loosely fitting lid in the fridge.  The rest (about a cup and a half full) left in a bowl covered with a tea towel on the bench overnight.

Then the uncooked mix.  In the morning, add a handful each of rolled triticale, rolled oats, oat bran, crushed linseeds, crushed pepitas, and rye flour.  Stir in and let soak.

Then the porridge mix.  While I move around making cofee, getting dressed, eating breakfast, I cook up a bread porridge. It starts with a handful of pearled barley, a handful of buckwheat, and a handful of millet, and a good teaspoon of salt. When they have had 5 minutes or so of boiling head start, I add a handful of quinoa and a handful of oat groats. I cook until the grains are just cooked and the water all absorbed, trying to stir as little as possible and being careful not to overcook.  I want the grains distinct, not mush. I turn it off an let it cool for a few minutes.

Then I make the bread dough.  Stir the porridge into the starter mix, stir in a couple of handfuls of wholemeal wheat flour, then tip the shaggy dough mix out onto the well floured benchtop.  I knead in enough unbleached baker’s flour (high gluten flour) to make a smooth dough.  It varies depending on how wet the porridge mix is and how generous I was with handfuls, but generally it’s about a cup to a cup and a half of baker’s flour.  I put a slurp of oil in a bowl, roll the dough round in it, then leave to sit on the kitchen bench, covered with a cloth, for the day.  (in summer with ants around I have to set the whole lot in a pie dish full of water).

By the time I get home in the afternoon, the dough is like this. On a warm day, it only takes about 4 hours really, a bit longer if my starter hadn’t been fed for a few days. The next bit really depends on the temperature. In winter, I used to give the dough a quick knead, roll the top of the log of dough in sesame seeds (they don’t stick if you just sprinkle them), put it into an oiled bread tin, and slash the top.  Then leave it covered on the benchtop again and hope it rose enough to bake at 7 pm, to be out of the oven before I turn into a pumpkin at 8 pm.  But lately, with the warm weather, I’ve been putting it in the fridge to slow it down and get a more even second rise.  If it rises too fast, the texture is uneven with crumbly bits in the middle.  If it rises too slow, the sourness develops.  About an hour and a half to double in size is perfect.  Then I put it into a cold oven, set to medium, and bake for around an hour till it sounds hollow when knocked.

It’s really good as toast with avocado and tomato, or as a sandwich with hummus and lettuce and tomato, or…


{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Fiona December 15, 2012, 4:05 pm

    What a great recipe! I love the idea of adding porridge to the mix. You’ve probably already said somewhere, and been asked before, but did you make your original sourdough started or did you get it from someone else? I had a go at starting one in the winter, based on instructions in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, but i was away a bit and it was cold here, and it just wasn’t a success. I gave up and just used up the failed starter in some bread with a little commercial yeast in it. I want to try again, but I’m wondering if you have any good tips?
    Thanks Linda!

  • Celia December 15, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Wow Linda, that looks fantastic! It’s amazing to see what different loaves you’re turning out with the same starter as I use! 🙂

  • Linda December 15, 2012, 6:05 pm

    There you go Fiona – Celia has answered! I think I am very lucky to have been gifted a venerable starter. It has been totally reliable since the day I got it. One time on the way to the beach it spilled, all down the door well of our van. I was so cross I came back from a cool-down walk to find my partner trying to scoop some back into its jar, gravel and all. Very luckily I had passed some on to my sister (and a neighbour, and my daughter, and my son, and my mother). So I was able to get it back.

  • Cherie December 16, 2012, 12:50 am

    Mmmmm. Looks delicious.

  • Liz December 16, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Beautiful bread, lovely texture! I usually use a seven grain mix but you’ve inspired me to hunt in the freezer for some more grains and seeds.

  • Jessie - Rabid Little Hippy January 2, 2013, 4:19 pm

    Wow, that looks fantastic! I too make sourdough although I made my starter from scratch. I recently changed my recipe after more misses than hits and use a no knead recipe that does it’s thang in the fridge and can be left to sour for up to 5 days (it usually gets 1-2 here as we demolish a loaf of bread a day) but I will most definitely try adding grains. Glad to hear you crush your linseed too. I was gutted to realise all the linseed I had been adding into a 5 grain bread I used to make was effectively useless as it was whole.

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