I measured 1 cup of sourdough starter and poured it into a bowl. I looked at it. The sourdough is not happy with our mistreatment lately. Lil used it last week but I feel like it still knows that I neglected it a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it's just my conscience.
So, I decided to get out the yeast too. In a separate bowl I mixed 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon yeast, and 2 tablespoons warm water. While the yeast proofed I added 1 cup white whole wheat, 1/2 cup bread, 1/2 cup rye, 1/4 cup whole wheat flours along with 1 cup warm water. Oh and 4 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten and 2 teaspoons salt. The starter burped with delight. This was getting exciting.
I added the yeast to the sourdough. A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, three tablespoons honey... and then I remembered something weird I had read in my dads "El Molino" cookbook. In their basic sourdough bread recipe they called for some freaky things. I figured, since I am not playing by any rules, I might as well try them. They are the secret ingredients. They are two things that I would never think to put into a loaf of bread. In they went....
The dough was pretty wet but I waited about 1 hour before attempting to knead it. I added in about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of white whole wheat flour in my kneading. I am not kidding, the dough was real wet. However, I didn't knead for more than 3-4 minutes until the dough was incorporated. Then, I plopped it into a well-oiled bowl, did some more reading, went to yoga class.
Fast forward 2 1/2 hours. The dough more than doubled. I wasn't sure if I should make it into one loaf or two but I decided on going all in on one loaf. That way, if it came out horrible it wouldn't feel like such a failure. I oiled one bread pan let it rise again for about 45 minutes. Then, I turned on the oven to 375 and put a cast iron pan of water in the bottom just as a brilliant idea struck me. Why not a sweet honey-water wash to help some wheat germ stick to the top of our loaf? I mixed up a little bit (but too much) water with some honey and sprinkled wheat germ on top. I put the extra watered down honey into my Kava tea.
I put the bread in before the oven was up to temperature and let it warm with the oven. I only left the water in there for 20 minutes. It baked for a total of 40 minutes. It cooled. I ate a slice. Success! The secret ingredients are phenomenal! So good, in fact, that I made a little peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
My dad eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch everyday. Alongside a tall glass of coffee and a cup of yogurt.
This is what I made:
Happy Father's Day (and thanks for the El Molino cookbook) Dad.
P.S. Stay tuned for Lily's famous egg salad sandwich recipe!