What uncommon things do we want to become common?

Things like:
our children having mutual love and respect for each other.
our teenage children having love, honor, respect and obedience for their parents.
us continually becoming better friends and lovers.
our family totally trusting God in all things and putting our faith in Him to fulfill his promises.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mmmm....Freshly Baked Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

By Chelsa

I'm so happy!!! I can't tell you how excited I am! I've finally found a whole wheat sourdough recipe our whole family likes. This is huge, mainly because I make ALL of our bread products: Loaves of bread, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, tortillas, pitas, pancakes, biscuits, scones, cinnamon rolls...you name it. When I got my electric flour mill for Christmas a couple of years ago (it grinds grain into flour), we bought TWELVE 50lb bags of wheat (yes, you read that correctly 600 lbs!!!), so I promised myself that I wouldn't buy bread from the store anymore. Why not, you ask? Because I know how I am. If there's bread from the store in the house then I'm not nearly as motivated to make my own. This way I have to make myself do it. I'm so glad I made that promise because it's become a routine part of my life now and I thoroughly enjoy it. And we've even built an earth oven in our back yard to bake it in! (I'll do a post on that soon)

I tried making sourdough bread in the past using my own starter with a different recipe, but it was just too sour. Even I didn't like it. Then I tried making a different recipe using a starter from someone else. The bread tasted great (a little on the sweet side), but I didn't think it was very healthy at all. The starter was potato flakes, sugar, and water, and that's what I was supposed to feed it. Why would I want to feed it that when I don't feel comfortable feeding that to my own kids? It tasted great, but that was not what I was looking for. I wanted something that both tasted good and was nutritionally sound.

That's why I'm so excited about this new recipe. It's the best of both worlds: nutritious and delicious!!! I'm sad to say that I didn't even want to try this recipe at first because of the simplicity of it... only 3 ingredients: flour, salt, and water (plus the starter). I thought it would probably taste bland and dull since it didn't have oil and sugar in it. The only reason I tried it was because I had volunteered to do a sourdough bread making demonstration for a group from the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Abilene group meets once a month to learn about the benefits of eating healthy, natural foods, no artificial anything- like potato flakes and white sugar. They try to incorporate these healthy eating habits into their own lives. So I was desperate to try it since my previous attempts had been major flops and the meeting was soon approaching. After talking to the group leader, who just happens to make his own sourdough bread, I discovered that the trick was to only let the dough rise once. Normally you knead the bread, let it rise, punch it down, form it into a loaf and let it rise again. But the longer you let sourdough sit, the more sour it becomes. That was my problem. Allowing it to rise twice made it just too sour for my taste buds. If I would have done that with my original recipe and my own sourdough starter, it would have turned out fine, but it would not have been acceptable for the bread demonstration because of the added oil and sugar in the recipe. That's why I am extremely happy with this new recipe, it's just simply delicious!

Below I'm posting how to make your own sourdough starter and 3 of the recipes I demonstrated at the Weston A. Price meeting. Give 'em a try.
p.s. If you live here and want some of my starter I'd be happy to share some with you.

Nourishing Traditions Sourdough Starter:

(makes about 3 qts)

2 cups freshly ground rye flour

2 cups cold filtered water


6 cups freshly ground rye flour

cold filtered water

Best results for sourdough starter are obtained from rye rather than wheat flour, perhaps because rye contains a lower phytate content than wheat. You will need two gallon-sized bowls. Total time to make the starter is 1 week.

Grind 2 cups flour and let it sit for a bit to cool. In one large bowl, mix flour with 2 cups cold water. The mixture should be quite soupy. Cover with a double layer of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band---this will allow yeasts and bacteria to get in but will keep insects out. In warm weather, you may set the bowl outside in the shade if you live in an unpolluted area and no pesticides have been used in your garden. Otherwise, keep it in a warm open area indoors or on a patio. The next day and every day for a total of 7 days, transfer the starter to the other clean bowl and add 1 cup freshly ground rye flour plus enough cold water to make a soupy mixture. Cover and let stand. After a few days the starter will begin to bubble and develop a wine-like aroma. It should go through a bubbly, frothy stage and then subside. After 7 days, the starter is ready for bread making. Use 2 quarts for a batch of sourdough bread (p. 490) but save 1 quart for your next batch of starter. If not using remaining starter immediately, you may store it in airtight jars in the refrigerator or freezer. Do not be tempted to add honey to your starter, as some recipes require. Honey encourages the proliferation of yeasts at the expense of lactic-acid-producing bacteria and may give you an alcoholic fermentation.

To start a new batch of starter, place the quart of leftover starter in a clean bowl. Add 1 cup freshly ground rye flour plus water each day, changing bowls, until 3 quarts are obtained.

Sourdough Flat Bread (serves 6)

3 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sourdough starter

1 and 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water

3/4 tsp. sea salt

  1. In a ceramic, glass or stainless steel bowl, mix all dry ingredients well
  2. Add liquids and stir until completely mixed.
  3. Cover with a cloth or a lid, and let it set on the counter (7-12 hours). The longer you leave it the more sour it will become.
  4. Cook on a buttered electric griddle (350*) or skillet on medium heat. Scoop out handfuls of dough with wet hands and pat flat. They take longer to cook than pancakes. Flip when bubbles leave a hole in bread.
  5. Top with sausage and cheese, peanut butter and honey, or any combination you like.
PizzaDough/ Hot Pocket Dough (serves 6)
  1. Use the same measurements as Sourdough Flat Bread.
  2. Follow the first 3 steps in that recipe.
  3. Then gradually add ½ cup flour and stir well with a spoon.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on counter top.
  5. Make 6 equal size balls of dough.
  6. Roll each one out until dough is between ¼-1/8” thick.
For Pizza: Spread pizza sauce with a spoon, then add toppings and cheese. Bake @ 400*F for 12-15 minutes.
For Hot Pockets: Place hot pocket ingredients on one half of the circle leaving a ½” space along edge so you can fold dough over and seal. Pinch edges until sealed. Poke a few holes in the top with a fork. Bake @ 400*F for 15-17 minutes.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (makes 1 loaf)


(For each loaf of bread you will use ¼ cup starter, 1 cup water, and 1 tsp. salt)

(Time from start to finish in baking a loaf of bread is approximately 10-12 hours)

(7 hours to make sponge, 2-3 hours for loaf to rise, 30-60 minutes to bake, depending on loaf size)


1. First make a sponge. In a glass or ceramic bowl add:

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup warm (not hot) water
  • 1 cup flour

Stir and let this sponge sit on the counter (covered with a cloth) for 7-12 hours. The longer it sits, the more sour it will be.

2. In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 tsp.salt.

3. Mix well.

4. Add the sponge to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until you can’t anymore.

5. Add 1 more cup of flour and knead aggressively by hand for exactly 15 minutes (the time is important!)

6. Form the dough into a loaf and with a sharp knife score the top of loaf and let rise until doubled in size (2-3 hours depending on room temperature)

7. Heat oven to 350*F

8. Bake for 30-45 minutes


  1. When making the bread, do you take 1/4 cup healthy starter straight from the fridge to make your sponge or 1/4 c freshly fed and risen starter? Thanks! I'm new to sourdough!

  2. You can use either one. And if you have any other questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them if I can. Good Luck! :-)