Graham flour is definitely one of my favorites. It gives such a warm orange tone to the crust and a delicious full taste and texture to every crumb. As I was getting the kitchen ready for a bake, motivated by the idea of baking with my recently acquired Graham flour, my son was shouting “only a bread with no crust!!!”… so I checked in my notes what kind of soft sourdough bread I had previously been baking, and came up with this recipe. I used some homemade milk kefir as it helps keeping the bread moist and enhances the sourdough flavor. Those sourdough breads were shaped and then proofed overnight in loaf pans before being baked. The pans prevent moisture to escape when baking, resulting in a softer crumb and softer crust.
This recipe yields 2 loafs:
- 2 cups of active sourdough starter (I used our Fergusson sourdough)
- 1 cup kefir or milk
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 ½ cup graham flour
- 1 ½ cup white flour
- 12g salt
Optional: bread spices (I used a mix of fennel and anis), grains or seeds, dried fruits. These are added at the same time as the sourdough.
- Add the flours, the milk kefir (or the milk) and the water in a big mixing bowl (I used my kitchen assistant)
- Blend roughly and set aside for 30 minutes
- Add the sourdough starter, the oil, the honey. Blend well. The dough should neither be too sticky nor too dry (add some water if too dry or white flour if too sticky)
- Add salt and continue mixing until dissolved
- Form a ball with the dough and cover the bowl. Let rest until it almost doubled in size (in our house, during a cloudy day with an inside temperature of 21°C, it took about 5 hours)
- When the dough is ready, take it out on the baking surface. Cut in 2 and shape to fit your previously oiled pans (I oiled with sunflower as it is the oil I used in the dough)
- Cover the pans and let rest for 1-3 hours until you see that the dough has risen to about 1/3 of its original size
- Cover the pans and place in the fridge for an overnight rest
- In the morning, turn on the oven to 200°C and take out the pans from the fridge
- When the oven reached its temperature, place the pans in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the loafs obtain this beautiful warm brown color
- Let them cool for a while before taking them out of the pans
- Let them cool covered with a towel on a rack and bon appétit!
Those breads taste even great after having been in the freezer. If you only eat one of them, give one away! There is nothing like a homemade bread gift!