Baking bread has always been very intriguing to me. I grew up with my dear Old Order Mennonite grandma just up the road from my home. Many a summer day was spent helping her in the kitchen and garden. I was allowed to knead the bread dough for her. As a young girl of 11, I would very enthusiastically knead the dough much to her dismay. She was most certain it would never turn out right but would be amazed at the fine lovely texture after it had baked. Knowing what I know now about yeast breads; the vigorous kneading developed the gluten making a lovely fine textured loaf. Sourdough fascinated me for some time before I actually attempted it. Here is my favorite sourdough recipe. This recipe can be used in any recipe where you would want a simple yeast dough–pizza, hot pockets, and stromboli to name a few. Try it and you may be surprised at how simple it is to have a lovely slice of homemade bread.
Honey Oat Sourdough Bread
1 ½ cups Old Fashioned Oats
3 ½ cups water
4 1/4 cups *starter, my **starter is fairly thick
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup dough enhancer
3 tablespoons Lethicin, optional
8- 8 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoons salt
Blend oatmeal in blender cup until fine. In mixer bowl combine ground oats and water. Allow to soak 10 minutes. Add starter, honey, oil, dough enhancer, Lethicin, and 4 cups flour. Mix until well combined. Add remaining flour in 1/2 cup increments until dough begins to pulls away from the sides of the bowl but is still slightly tacky. Allow your dough rest for 20 minutes. Add salt and knead for 9 minutes. Put into a greased bowl turning dough to coat with oil. Cover with a lid and allow dough to proof for 6 hours. Divide dough into 5 pieces and shape into loaves and place into well greased bread pans. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours or until 3/4 proofed. Wet the blade of a sharp knife and slash each loaf. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees F. for 27-30 minutes. Cool. Approximately 70 slices of bread which will give you less than 1/4 teaspoon oil and honey per slice and is with in the carb category limit. Adding additional fats will be a combined fuel. The fermenting time does eat up the sugar from the honey. You may reduce the honey and oil if you would like but your bread will get stale quicker.
*I feed my starter 4 times before I make bread to have it super active, in the evening, the next day-morning, lunch and just before I go to bed. I feed with a ratio of 1 cup starter, 1 cup flour, and 2/3 cup water. I have had much better success with a thick starter than a thinner one.
**A thinner starter will require more flour than 8 1/2 cups.
***Sourdough bread is considered a carb fuel. If you make pizza, hot pockets, etc using full fat cheese and meat you will have a combined fuel category which may stall weight loss.