This week on my sourdough journey, I set out on my first sourdough sandwich loaf using hard white wheat flour. The star of the show was my trusty starter I shared last week (like any good sourdough). It was well-fed and ready to go!
I will say experimenting with fresh-milled whole wheat flour has brought a unique challenge to my recipes. Unlike store-bought flour, the nature of fresh milling requires adjustments, particularly in the water content. My recipes now incorporate more water than the typical sourdough formula, allowing the flour to showcase its distinctive fresh milled qualities.
Another key realization, which I believe will make my future loaves even better, is a shift in the proofing and baking schedule. Transitioning from proofing overnight and baking in the morning to proofing during the day and baking at night provides me with some extra hours to allow a full second rise. It was hard to fit it all in with with work and busy kiddo commitments but this easy baking schedule change will make it much easier!
My absolute favorite part of sourdough is the fragrance wafting through my kitchen as the bread bakes. The tangy aroma is a testament to the unique character of sourdough, making the anticipation of the first slice all the more exciting.
I also added in all-purpose flour in my second loaf to aid the rise and achieve that perfect balance. The bran in the whole wheat flour can pose a challenge to obtaining a good rise, but this addition proved to be a helpful ally. The result is a loaf filled with all the nutrients of a truly whole grain bread, with no additives or preservatives, and my the kiddos loved!
A crucial tip is to pull your starter from the fridge well in advance and let it reach room temperature before incorporating it into a recipe. This simple step ensures the starter is at its peak performance to make the best sourdough.
Stay tuned for next week's sourdough adventure. I am excited to share my discoveries and enhancements as I continue to learn, adapt, and savor the delicious rewards of homemade sourdough perfection. Happy baking!