Thursday, June 21, 2007

Soaked-Flour Breads

I have continued reading Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and have been attempting many of her recipes. For those of you who don’t know, Fallon’s bread recipes call for the flour to be soaked in yogurt, kefir or homemade cultured buttermilk (or water and homemade whey for those with milk allergies) for 12-24 hours prior to baking. (Many of these recipes are also referenced in Jordan Rubin's The Maker's Diet.

I made my first loaf of bread (banana bread to be exact) this way the other night. It ended up taking 2.5 hours to cook and I still do not think that it tastes banana-y enough. However, the bread is very moist and the texture is delicious. I have decided to alter the recipe the next time by adding an additional banana, as well as a ½-¾ cup of additional flour just before baking. I think this may help the flavor and the baking time.

In addition, I made her basic muffin recipe (adding blueberries for a blueberry muffin version) last night. After the long cooking time of the banana bread, I was worried that the muffins might take just as long also. So, after soaking the flour for 24 hours in water and whey, I added the rest of the ingredients (doubling the amount of maple syrup called for to ensure the muffins were sweet enough for my taste), then I added an additional cup to cup-and-a-half of spelt flour to thicken the batter a bit. (I like spelt flour best for baking.) Rather than taking 1 hour to bake as the recipe indicated, my muffins only took 30 minutes to bake. I’m sure that was due to the additional flour. The muffins taste fine, although they are a bit hearty and not as moist as the banana bread. In addition they are not blueberry tasting enough. Simply adding 7 blueberries on top of the dough just doesn’t cut it. The next time I make them, I’ll mash ½ cup of blueberries and add it to the batter, and add only ½ cup of additional flour at the end rather than a full cup. Then I’ll continue to add the blueberries on the top of the muffin dough prior to baking.

Soaked flour breads are much healthier for you than regular breads as they allow the flour to sour and ferment, giving it a natural ability to rise without the help of yeast or other additives, and breaking down the hard-to-digest qualities of the grain so that your body can more easily absorb the nutrients.

My next project will be attempting Fallon’s Sourdough Bread Start recipe, which calls for rye flour and takes 7 days to make. From there I’ll be able to use the starter to make real, old-fashioned sourdough bread. Sourdough starters can also be bought online (if you do not wish to take the time to make them yourself):

Sourdough bread can then be used not only for sandwiches, but also for other recipes like kvass and other healthy fermented beverages.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips on making the soaked flour recipes coming out good! I made a couple of recipes from that book a year ago - would like to start over again. I also agree that 7 blueberries on the top is just not enough:)

Thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

hi, I also have made the muffins but I have found that it only takes 25-30 min in my oven with the regular recipe, a lot of the breads just require watching carefully the first time or two. Our favorite way to do the muffins is pumpkin style with the basic muffin recipe an extra 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice a cup of mashed pumpkin and the spices from the pumpkin pie recipe, sooo yummy! thanks for the tips!