Lazy Early Riser Soaked Bread
Bread is simply flour, a leavener, water and time.
Just cause your loaf didn’t turn out as you dreamed it would doesn’t mean it’s any less bread!
I sort of messed around with some recipes I know work and this overnight, minimal work, soaked recipe was born. This recipe yields a dense, hearty moist bread that is ready for anything.
Why overnight and why soaked you ask?
Two reasons: letting is hang out builds the gluten fibers in the bread the same as kneading does but without, you know, the work. The overnight rest also allows the enzymes in the flour, the yeast and the starter culture to break down nutrient binding compounds in the bread that can interfere with mineral absorption and protein digestion. Essentially all grains, seeds and legumes have these compounds to a greater or lesser degree.
While eating unsoaked bread isn’t going to kill you, soaking it makes it more nutritious. Considering that lots of us are mineral deficient its a great practice to get into.
Lazy Early Riser Soaked Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
starter culture ~ a couple table spoons of unpasteurized vinegar, yogurt or liquid from a fermented food. What ever you use, it needs to not have been heated in any way that could have killed the bacteria. Pasteurized, canned or cooked won’t work.
To use a sourdough starter simple substitute a cup of starter for a cup of warm water. Everything else is the same.
You can omit the overnight soak and the recipe will still work. BUT you will have to knead and knead and knead! Between every rise and the flavor won’t be the same and you won’t get the nutritional benefits.
Yes, you can change the flour up, as long as its wheat flour! I’ve no experience with gluten free bread, sorry you are on your own there!
Stir your flour and salt together. Proof your yeast. Measure your yeast into a bowl then add comfortably warm water to it and the bacteria culture starter. Let it set and get bubbly. Get yourself a spoon and stir in the liquid. Keep adding warm water and stirring until you get a wet elastic dough. Make sure to work out any flour lumps with the back of the spoon against the side of the bowl.
Now cover it with a floured towel, pan lid or plate- I don’t know about you but I’m trying to wean myself off plastic wrap. Let it set overnight or at least 8 hours. You could leave it longer but it will start to get sourdough flavors so if you aren’t into that kind of thing don’t leave it too long.
At some point in the early morning hours on a trip to the bathroom or when you get up, you will find that it’s doubled. Just stir it down and flop it around in the bowl a few times before covering it back up and going about your business.
After it’s first mixed
8 hour raise & soak
After 8 hour raise & soak
“Punch down” & raise
When it’s doubled again you knead it for the first time.
To get the dough out of the bowl I sprinkle a thick layer of flour on top and work it down around the edges. The flour keeps it from sticking to me or back on the bowl, then I just flop it out on the counter. I don’t knead for very long really. Just until it’s holding together and elastic. Add flour freely, the dough starts out wet so it can suck up a lot of flour. Now you can shape the dough into loaves for baking.
To shape, I punch the dough down and knead just until it forms a nice ball. Then I divide the ball in half and shape each half into a log by rolling it back and forth on a surface. You have to strike the right balance between floured and sticky to make the log elongate. If you have a different method for shaping or want another shape of loaf by all means have at it! Spray the loaves down so the dough doesn’t dry out and let it double again.
Once its risen preheat the oven to 400°F. When it’s to temperature spray the loaves down again, put them in the oven and turn the heat up to 425°F. The water helps prevent the crust from setting prematurely so the bread can rise as much as possible. When it starts to pull away from the pan and sounds hollow it’s done. As usual I don’t give an exact baking time since its going to be different in every oven and pan, but it’s around thirty minutes.
Now, what to eat on your warm moist, straight-from-the-oven bread?
Um, everything and anything!
But to start you off, why not some lemon curd, jam, fruit butter or make it into a homegrown egg sandwich?
I’m just going to leave you alone with your bread now, enjoy!