Whole Grain German Sourdough Bread

This week I made a whole grain German Sourdough Bread using rye, whole wheat, and emmer flours.

I just bought The Bread Bible by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter 2010 from Borders Bookstore.  It accents bread baking from around the world and includes over 100 recipes.   There is an extensive 125 page introduction to general bread baking and then specifically to these international breads.  A truly interesting and enjoyable book to read.

There are several recipes I am interested in making over the next few weeks – with my own adaptations, of course!  I am beginning this mini-project with the German Sourdough Bread on page 201.  Personally, I am not a fan of sourdough breads, but, apparently, sourdoughs were very popular traditional breads in Germany and much of Europe.  And, since I want to learn more about traditional breads, I will include these on my journey.

As always, I don’t include any white flour in my breads, so I substituted emmer flour for the unbleached white bread flour called for in the recipe.  By the way, Cathy Warner of Bread Experience (http://breadmakingblog.breadexperience.com/2011/04/byob-april-2011-roundup.html) is experimenting with emmer flour all this month.  So, if you want to learn more about this fascinating heritage flour, go to her web site and check out what’s happening in the baking world with emmer flours.

Okay, my bread:  I followed the directions carefully, with a couple of exceptions.

The Original Recipe                                                  My Changes_________________

Fresh Yeast                                                                 Fleischmann’s ActiveDry Yeast

1 ¼ cups unbleached white bread flour                     1 ¼ cups emmer flour

I wasn’t too happy with the yeast.  It’s a pretty new jar with a far into the future best-to-use-by date, nevertheless, I didn’t think the yeast was very responsive.  I felt this way last week as well.  The first rise seemed disappointing, but the second, was fine.  [Note: the second rise was supposed to be for 2-3 hours, but I was gone and it was more like 4 hours.]


German Sourdough Bread

German Sourdough Bread

The bread turned out to be quite dense, chewy, with good flavor.  The crust was very firm – as in: slice it with a strong hand!  It didn’t have the typical sourdough taste, which I greatly appreciated.

Last week we bought a “whole grain” loaf of bread from the grocery and were sorely disappointed in it.  We’ve decided that we definitely prefer breads with more body and fuller flavor.   Our old, store-bought favorites are no longer our favorites!


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