Multigrain Sourdough Bread

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This recipe was based on the ingredients and techniques that would have been available to the Nordic people in the middle ages, as no written recipes exist.  I did it for an event held by a local medieval reenactment group.  This is also when I made the butter.  Check out my Magic of Bread and Leavening post if you don’t have a sourdough starter ready.

It was a hearty bread with strong flavor, but not really identifiable as a sourdough.  I had someone tell me they were very picky when it comes to bread, and they loved this.

Multigrain Sourdough Bread

Utilizes a small-medium Dutch Oven, roughly 8-10″ wide.

Plan for 11-19 hours before actual baking (which is another hour), not including the soaker’s overnight.

Soaker

  • 1 Tbsp each millet, rye, wheat bran, barley, buckwheat
  • 3 Tbsp rolled oats (not quick)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp hempseed
  • 3 Tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  • ¾ cup (155g) boiling hot distilled water

Mix together and soak overnight. (If you are in a hurry you can microwave it for a minute or two, then cool completely.)

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Dough

  • ¼ cup (50g) sourdough starter, previously fed, bubbly and active
  • 1 ⅓ cup (300g) warm distilled water
  • 2 ½ Tbsp (50g) raw honey, gently warmed and dissolved into the water
  • 3 cups (400g) whole wheat bread flour (I accidentally used a stone ground whole wheat flour, not a bread flour, and it worked fine)
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt

Preparation

  1. In the early evening, mix the starter, honey and water in a large bowl.  
  2. Add the flour and salt.  It will be shaggy at first.  Fold and mix until fully incorporated, may seem dry.  I used a strong spatula at this stage rather than my hands.
  3. Keep working the dough 3-4 minutes.  
  4. Cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.  Keep near 70-80°F conditions.
  5. Mix in the soaker, folding and kneading for 2 minutes to incorperate.
  6. Cover with damp towel and rest 30 minutes. 
  7. First Folding: Grab portions of the dough, stretch and fold over, multiple times. It is still a fairly moist dough at this point.
  8. Cover with damp towel and rest 30-45 minutes.  
  9. Second FoldingGrab portions of the dough, stretch and fold over, multiple times. It is still a fairly moist dough at this point.
  10. Cover with damp towel and rest 30-45 minutes.  
  11. Third Folding:  Again, grab portions of the dough, stretch and fold over, multiple times. It is still a fairly moist dough at this point.
  12. Bulk Fermentation: Cover with a damp towel and rise overnight at 70-80°F for 8-14 hours.  Time depends on temperature of kitchen.
  13. It is ready when it appears dense, it jiggles when the bowl is moved, and it has doubled in size.
  14. On a floured surface, shape into a round, using a dough scraper, seam side down.  Let rest for 10 minutes
  15. Line an 8-inch bowl of banneton with floured cloth.
  16. Make a taut surface as you shape into a round boule.  Transfer quickly into the bowl, seam side up.
  17. Cover with a damp towel and rest 30-45 minutes.
  18. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  19. Prepare cooking pot or dutch oven by cutting a few parchment paper circles to fit the bottom.  Multiple layers help prevent extra browning. A thin layer of rough grain beneath the bottom parchment can also help give some space between the dough and the pot.
  20. When the dough is ready, turn out into the cooking pot seam side down.  Score with sharp knife.
  21. Place, lidded, into oven on center rack, and immediately reduce temperature down to 450°F
  22. Bake lidded for 20 minutes.
  23. Remove lid and bake additional 30-35 minutes.  (or 15-20 if split into two small loaves in separate pots)
  24. Bread is done when internal temperature reaches 190-205°F
  25. Transfer to wire rack.
  26. Cool 1 full hour before serving, as the inside is still cooking until then.

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