After careful cultivation of my sprouted spelt sourdough starter, I was excited to see what kind of bread it turned into.  Whole grain sourdough bread is dense, there’s no doubt about it.  To lighten it up, you can use half white flour, or you can just learn to enjoy a chewy dense loaf as we’ve done.  Toasting it sliced lightens up whole grain bread a bit as well.

From starter to bread:

Before you plan to make bread, make sure your starter is nice and active; feed it if it’s not, and allow it to bubble and rise.

Dump half of your starter into a bowl, cover with 7 cups whole wheat or sprouted wheat flour.

Add water (1-1/2 cups or so) until it can be mixed. Mix throughly to distribute your starter.

Allow to rest overnight, in the morning your entire dough should be leavened.

Knead in 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1 teaspoon sea salt. Shape into loaves or place in a loaf pan or on a cookie sheet (stoneware is wonderful for this).  If your dough is too wet to shape it into a loaf, add sprouted or unbleached white flour to stiffen it up a bit. If you are using a loaf pan, it can be a little more wet.

Allow to rise- this will take a few hours, I generally make my bread just after breakfast and don’t even bother checking it until close to lunch time.

Bake in a preheated oven at 425*; the amount of time will depend on a variety of factors including the humidity and how big your loaf pan is. I bake my loaves for 30 minutes, and then turn the oven off and allow to cool with the oven door closed.  I check my baguette-style loaves after 20 minutes and allow to cool on the countertop.

Enjoy! Consider making a couple rolls to enjoy straight out of the oven with butter; loaves stay more moist when they are allowed to cool completely before cutting.

And on a side note, I got my son’s quilt finished during my break last week, and the rest of everything back in order!  Or as much order as it can get in with two young children :)  I’m also working on a printable e-book that I think many of you will really enjoy, more about that soon!

Also: I just uploaded a video set on Youtube- how I make Nourishing Traditions Style Fish stock! From local trout.