We’ve been playing with sourdough at my house lately. If you’d like to learn how to make your own, I highly recommend the Art of Homemade Bread Class taught by Carolyn Thomas at Homesteading Family. She has a whole section on sourdough that is excellent. She breaks it down into simple steps that so that the follow through is easy.
My daughter even decided to do sourdough as her science experiment this year. We have had 10 different starters growing at our house. Which means we have been baking A LOT!
Here is my latest favorite.
Apple Cinnamon Sourdough Batter Bread:
Add 3 approximately 2.5-3 cups of immature (or mature) starter to your mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, and about 1/2 cup flour. Stir to combine. Let this mixture sit and bubble while you butter your casserole and chop your apples.
Generously butter a glass casserole dish and set aside. Peel and chop 3 apples. Pour the chopped apples into the bowl with the batter, and add 1 tsp of cinnamon, dash of cloves, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup mild tasting oil, 1/4 brown sugar. Stir to combine. Then add flour 1/4 cup at a time until your batter is stiff like a cold buttercream frosting. It may not take much flour if your starter is thick. I added less than 1 cup to mine. Once you have achieved the right texture, pour into your prepared baking dish and sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the top. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes. Then back at 400 for 40-45 minutes.
About 3 cups of immature spelt starter.
3 Opal apples. Use a sweet apple like Fuji, Gala or Braeburn, rather than tart.
Peeled and chopped.
Add to batter.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Be prepared. The baking soda will make the mixture foam and bubble.
Poured into pan, covered and set to rise for 30 minutes.
I’ve been sprouting spelt for the last 9 months to grind to make our bread each week. I was so intimidated by the idea when I started. And I really couldn’t find any reliable information or consistent techniques online. But, now that I have it figured out….. it’s so easy! There’s really nothing to it. Once you have it worked into your routine, you can easily sprout a batch ahead, and always benefit from the additional nutrition that sprouting makes accessible to your body in your breads and baked goods.
Easy Steps to Sprouting Grain:
(These steps work with any grain.)
Soak your grain in a large bowl overnight, or for about 10-12 hours.
Drain into a mesh colander and rinse.
Return the drained grain to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel.
Rinse every 6-12 hours, depending on how fast it dries out until you see little tails at the tips of each seed.
Spread on your dehydrator and dehydrate 110-120 degrees (I usually do 115) until the grain is hard and cannot be indented when pressed upon by the end of your fingernail.
Store in sealed mason jars in the freezer if you don’t plan to grind your grain within 2 days.
That’s it! Give it a try. Sprouted grain makes a softer flour, is easier to grind than unsprouted, and I think makes lighter baked goods.
Unsprouted spelt berries.
Cover with water and soak for 12 hours.
Sprouted. See the tiny tails on the tip of each seed?
Dehydrated and ready to go in the grain mill.
In the mill. About to become flour.
Compare: Left – after dehydrating, Right – before dehydrating.
I have a page in the “Kitchen” on my blog called “Baking Day.” In it I wax poetic thinking of Ma Ingalls and my great-grandmother, Maggie, working in their kitchens. I imagine them in their vintage aprons, leaning over their wooden kitchen tables, kneading their bread. They have flour dust on their faces from swiping back the wisps of hair from their faces that have fallen down.
Not many people have a baking day anymore. Each day is much the same as another, running from one errand or activity to another. But, for the last 2 years or so, Saturday has become my baking day. I often will go grocery shopping in the morning, and spend the rest of the day cooking. It’s exhausting but rewarding. Sometimes it’s hectic. Especially when we have another activity that day that cuts into my baking time. But, I’m learning to guard my time on Saturdays as much as possible. That time in the kitchen is valuable to me. And it can be quite pleasant. If the kids are outside, I can sing, listen to music, listen to a podcast, or just get lost in my own thoughts. The kitchen is a good place for that. I’m finding that between technology, daily appointments, and the responsibility of teaching and caring for the kids (all of which have their place in life), I don’t have enough of that quiet time in my head.
Baking day helps me be well prepared for my week. On a typical baking day, I produce a lot of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and sometimes dinner prep that help me survive Monday through Friday when I just don’t have the time to devote to the kitchen. Below are some photos of what I typically make. Would a baking day make your life easier? I’m finding that I really do need mine.