Cinnamon Pecan Sourdough Bread
"I think it is the love and enthusiasm I feel for my sourdough starter that actually raises the dough."Donna
Sourdough bread typically comes together pretty quickly. At least my recipes do! The bacteria in the bread break down the glutens and unlock the nutrients to make a wonderful bread that everybody will enjoy. I try to make recipes that are easy for you to make and enjoy, and I take away all the intimidation that comes with making your own bread. This particular recipe has a sweeter taste making it perfect for breakfast.
I have found that most people’s bodies struggle to digest grains. Yet these same bodies flourish with grains that have been made with a sourdough culture. Sourdough bread that has been made with longer fermentation times (seven or more hours) is considered lower glycemic, which is a wonderful benefit. In addition, the sourdough process produces changes to the composition of the grain in numerous ways that make it a more beneficial food. This process produces vitamin C and increases the content of vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B6. Carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, increases dramatically – sometimes as much as an eight-fold increase. Using a sourdough culture also inactivates aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by fungus and are potent carcinogens found in grains.
My daughter Holli eats my sourdough bread every day - from toast in the morning to paninis and sandwiches; and she loves, loves sourdough bread. She can smell it when it's baking in the oven and nothing is more fun for her than having a hot slice fresh from the oven. Most of my morning breakfasts consist of a kefir smoothie and a slice of sourdough toast. Although it takes a little bit to make it, sourdough bread can be fast food on busy days. I am surprised as I have gotten older how simple our diet has become. A bowl of kefir cheese mixed with cultured veggies and fresh ground pepper served with sourdough bread and a bottle of kombucha can be a great lunch. As I am writing this blog, my husband just brought me grilled cheese on sourdough bread that he made all by himself. For me, this is invaluable. One of his favorite treats is sourdough toast with a spread of kefir cheese - topped with my tomato bruschetta. These are super simple cultured foods that we make into meals to save ourselves time and give our bodies what they need to stay healthy.
Helpful Tips for sourdough bread
The secret to good sourdough bread is in the bubbly sourdough starter. (You can buy my live starter here.) To make a really bubbly sourdough starter, you must feed it a ratio of one to one to one. So what this means is 1/2 cup of sourdough starter and 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 water. You can make more starter than this, but always keep the ratio 1 to 1 to 1 and you will have a really bubbly sourdough starter.
Always feed the starter the night before (or at least 4 to 8 hours before you make your bread). This all depends on the temperature in your home. The warmer it is, the sooner it will rise and be bubbly. Once your starter begins rising in the jar and is filled with bubbles on the top and sides it's ready to go.
Make sure that you have been feeding the starter at least once a week if you have been keeping it in the fridge. If you haven't been feeding your starter this often, then feed it twice a day for a day or a couple of days until it's bubbly again. Here's a link to make a strong sourdough starter.
Keep your dough on the moister side. Add less flour and it will rise higher and have a lighter taste and will also have more holes if you like this in sourdough bread.
Use flour with a higher protein content as this allows for a high rising sourdough bread. Check out #7 on the FAQ Sourdough page on how to calculate how much protein your flour has.
“Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.”Melissa Hill
Cinnamon Pecan Sourdough Bread
- You need to make sure your sourdough starter is bubbly and ready to go. If it has not been fed recently, take a few spoonfuls of sourdough starter from your fridge and give it that much flour and water and let it ferment for 6 - 8 hours. Here is more help for a bubbly sourdough starter. How to care for your sourdough starter
Making the dough
- After 30 minutes, gently knead the nuts and raisins into the dough and knead for about a minute. Add a little flour if the dough feels too sticky. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise overnight for 8-10 hours (around 70 degrees F) or until the dough will have risen in the bowl and looks puffier.
Making and Baking the Bread
- Use your spatula and gently pull the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Line a 10-inch proofing bowl with a towel and dust generously with flour.