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Sourdough Bread

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Sourdough is the healthiest bread because of the natural yeast fermentation. Dense, with a nice texture and taste, a slice of sourdough with a bit of butter or natural spread makes an enjoyable treat and of course is an indispensable accompaniment to soup on any occasion.

7 cups (1.75 l) organic whole rye flour
7 1/2 cups (1.9 l) lukewarm water
1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter (see recipe)
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 ml) sea salt
1 cup (250 ml) flax seeds
1 cup (250 ml) sunflower seeds
5-7 cups (1.25-1.75 l) whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, mix rye flour, water, sourdough starter and salt. Cover mixture and let stand in a warm place for at least six hours or overnight. The dough should look bubbly and have a sour smell. Remove one-half pound (250 g) from dough and put in a glass jar. Cover jar with cheesecloth and refrigerate. You can give this sourdough starter to a friend or use it for your next batch of bread.

Grease three loaf pans with butter or line with baking paper. (In my opinion, baking paper does a better job because the bread doesn't stick to the pan. -Christel)

Add flax seeds, sunflower seeds and whole wheat flour to remaining dough; mix thoroughly. The more you mix the dough, the better the bread rises. Spoon dough into three baking pans. Let rise in a warm place or in the oven on low (set just enough for the pilot light to come on) for one hour.

Heat oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake for one hour and 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Sourdough bread is moist and can be stored in a clay pot for at least 14 days. It also keeps well in the freezer.

Source: alive #228, October 2001

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