Last week I tried out some new things we've been learning in the GNOWFGLINS Sourdough E-Course. This was a lesson a few weeks back and I've been anxious to try it. This is based off of the methodology presented in Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day (ABin5). I've made several different recipes and types of bread from ABin5 and I love the method. Its so easy. Just mix up the dough one day, stick it in a food-grade bucket or bowl with lid, and pop it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake some bread. This works great for my busy, working and commuting mom life and I have missed the ease of this method for the last 9 or 10 months. I've wondered about modifying the recipes to make them healthier, but never devoted the time to thinking about it, let alone trying it out.
I was so excited when I read about the lesson a few weeks ago! Wardeh's friend Christina had done the trial and error and had modified the recipe to make sourdough bread with whole grain flours! Yeah! So of course, I had to try it. I mixed up a bucket of dough last week and had intentions of trying a few different ways of baking it... english muffins, cinnamon rolls, and a loaf of bread. I decided part way through the week that I'd actually just make one big batch of rustic english muffins since I didn't have the time for the other two on other nights like I'd hoped. So that's what I did and now I have a good supply of delicious sourdough english muffins in the freezer and for eating fresh. We love them!
A few notes about this dough before I post the recipe. If you want to get the benefits of sourdough and the sour taste, let the dough sit in your fridge for at least 48 hours before using it. If you don't really want the sour flavor, but still want some of the benefits of sourdough, use it within the first day or two. Also, you want to use this within probably five days. It may turn a purplish color on top of the dough (oxidation), so you may want to keep it dusted with flour while its in the refrigerator. I forgot to do this, and mine was in the fridge for three and a half days and never oxidized, so I'm not really sure its necessary.
Here is the basic recipe and how to make rustic english muffins. I will post the other recipes for bread, pita bread, and cinnamon rolls when I make them.
Sourdough - Bucket Method
6 cups water
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 cups sourdough starter
13 cups whole wheat flour (or any combo of flour... I used half whole wheat and half dark spelt for the english muffins)
Mix the ingredients together in a bucket or large bowl. Stir well, cover loosely, and put in the refrigerator. If you are using a sourdough starter which is thinner like a pancake batter, be prepared to add some extra flour if necessary. But remember, you do want a sticky, wet dough.
Cover the bucket loosely with the lid. You do not want an airtight cover, as it could explode and do some damage. I just pressed down the two opposite sides of my cover, leaving the other two sides open.
The dough will rise in the fridge. You'll want to sprinkle the top liberally with flour before you pull any out. This helps with the stickiness of the dough.
Rustic English Muffins
Preheat a thick bottomed skillet over medium heat.
Sprinkle the bucket dough and counter or cutting board generously with flour. Pull a handful of dough out of the bucket in a ball, pat out on the floured board (counter) to about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat until you have as many as you want to cook. Cook rustic muffins until browned, 3-5 minutes per side.
Press a fork into the sides of the muffins, all the way around. This will essentially slice them open.
Note: As needed, wipe extra flour out of your pan in between batches to prevent burning.