A delicious, soft, and sour sandwich loaf with the goodness of whole wheat.
*Submitted to YeastSpotting
My main struggle with sandwich bread is getting it so that it is soft (soft enough to make a good peanut butter and jelly with) and doesn't crumb too much. What I have found (at least in my non-professional opinion) is that in order to achieve this you need to keep the dough pretty soft and moist. Do not add too much flour while kneading you want the dough to be soft and moist but not wet and sticky. It is hard to explain because you know it is right by the feel. I find that when kneading by hand I tend to add too much flour, to keep the dough from sticking to my hand, but since I started using a mixer it is easier to knead without adding too much flour. It is still possible to do it by hand you just have to be aware of how much extra flour you are using (it is okay for it to stick slightly to your hand. Maybe just dust your hands lightly with flour instead of sprinkling flour over the dough).
*modified from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads 'transitional whole wheat bread'
Night before (barm)
3 oz sourdough starter
7 oz whole wheat flour
6 oz kefir or milk
7 oz bread flour
1 tsp salt (.45oz)
2 oz honey
.5 oz vegetable oil
3-5 oz water
The night before you want to make your bread you need to make the barm. This is just feeding the sourdough to build it to the amount you need for the recipe. Take out 3 oz of the sourdough starter add 7 oz of whole wheat flour and 6 oz of kefir or milk. (I make the barm with the whole wheat flour because I think that the over night sit tenderizes it and moistens it this makes up for the soaker that many whole wheat recipes call for. I also use kefir because I like the extra sour flavor it adds.) Stir until all of the flour is hydrated then cover and let sit out at room temperature over night.
The next morning, the barm should be bubbly and airy. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add barm and rest of ingredients starting with only 3 oz of the water. Stir on low speed with the paddle attachment until all of the flour is hydrated and forms a ball. You may need to dribble in some of the extra water until this is achieved (remember it is better to start too wet than not wet enough, adding flour during kneading is easier than water) .
(I sit my dough on my counter top under a small under-cabinet light that gets a little warm. This is the perfect temperature in my home.)
roll into a sandwich loaf and place in a creased 8 by 4 inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in warm spot for 2 hours until cresting above the lip of the pan.
(I had to do this after the first 20 minutes). Remove from pan and let cool completely (or at least 1 hour) before slicing.