Feed your Refrigerated Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter. Use the starter for baking 12 hours after feeding. Pour 3+ cups of sourdough starter (up to a full quart jar) into an electric mixer bowl. Let the starter sit for 10 minutes to warm up.
For Four Loaves of Bread: Add a total of 16 cups of whole wheat flour, 4 teaspoons of sea salt and 5 ½ cups of filtered or purified water in small increments. Add 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and 1 cup purified water at one time. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Repeat this process three more times until 12 cups of flour, 4 teaspoons of salt and 4 cups of water have been added and mixed. Add 4 cups of flour and 1 ½ cups of water. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Additional water up to ½ cup can be added, if needed. The mixture should not be thin.
Mix on medium speed for 15 minutes. If the dough is still visible on the sides of the mixer bowl, add another ½ cup of flour and mix for two minutes. Take a small piece of dough in your hands and stretch it. If the dough tears easily, mix for two more minutes. If the dough stretches slightly without tearing, wet your hands with purified water, remove the dough from the mixer bowl with a stiff spatula and place it on a clean, half-size baking sheet that has a very thin layer of water – just enough water to make it slightly wet. Let the dough relax on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes.
Wet your hands and work the dough out to the edges of the half-size baking sheet. It may take a minute or two for the dough to relax as it stretches. If it spreads easily, it is ready. If it retracts to its former position, let it relax a little more.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions with a spatula. Place each portion into an oiled glass or ceramic bowl. Make sure the bowl is big enough for the dough to double in size. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (like on the stove top with the light on or kitchen counter) for 7 hours.
Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl. Turn dough in the bowl in a circle to loosen. Place half of the dough on a half-size baking sheet that has a very thin layer of water. Let sit for 3 minutes. Wet hands and work dough to the edge of the baking sheet. It may need some time to relax before it spreads easily. Fold lengthwise into thirds and flatten. Flatten again until the dough is shaped like a loaf pan.
Oil the loaf pan. Gently lay the dough into the loaf pan. Do not press down. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap that is NOT oiled. Repeat the process for the other half of the dough in the first bowl, and the other dough in the second bowl. Yield is 4 loaves of bread.
Let dough rise in the pans for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the plastic cover and bake in a pre-heated 370◦ oven for 40 minutes. Bread is done when thermometer reads 185◦. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
Bread can be stored on the counter for one week in a freezer bag, if you leave one end of the bag open. Make sure there is no moisture buildup. Bread can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks in a freezer bag. It can be stored in a freezer bag in the freezer up to one month. A good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil is best for oiling the bowl, plastic wrap, and loaf pans. Note: this bread is a natural probiotic. Take time to adjust to eating sourdough.
©2017 Sharon D. Monson One copy may be printed for personal use only. No distribution is allowed. Commercial rights are retained.