You probably have researched around and noticed that there are so many different types of flours that you can use to make sourdough bread. Everyone has different opinions on what to use. Today I’m going to share with you the best grain to use to get you started as quickly as possible to make and bake your sourdough bread.
What Is The Best Grain To Make Sourdough Bread?
The best grain to make sourdough bread is Rye or a mix of rye and whole wheat. It is perfect when creating a sourdough starter. It helps your starter get going quicker and it’s perfect for someone who is a beginner and needs a quick win. It is also perfect for any struggling starters.
Once you start feeding it you can then transition to a more cheaper flour such as all-purpose flour or use an alternate bread flour. Using just rye flour to feed your starter on a consistent basis can get very expensive very quickly.
It isn’t recommended to use more than 20% of Rye flour within your sourdough as Rye is known to absorb water really well. To give perspective if you were to even have rye at 100% hydration the dough would be stiff. Rye is known to speed up the starter process and get it going very quickly. It is also known to reduce the time drawing the bulk fermentation process.
In this article, we’ll explore whether you can make sourdough out of any type of flour—and if it really matters. We’ll also address what makes a perfect sourdough bread and answer the question: What makes a dense starter bread.
Can You Make Sourdough Out Of Any Flour?
It is possible to make sourdough out of any flour. but depending on the flour that you choose to make it with some might be more challenging than others. The more experience you gain making sourdough bread you would start to develop your preferences with the type of flower you prefer to start off with.
The most obvious flour to start off with is all-purpose flour which is the cheapest flour that most people have on hand in their homes. All-purpose flour can tend to take longer for the starter to get going and not having unbleached flour and not being very specific play a factor in having issues in the long run.
There may be times when the all-purpose flour doesn’t work as well as most and will take longer. If you are eager and ready to make bread it may not be ideal. the best flour to start off with is rye. Rye is known to create a stable starter in less time.
Over time as you gain confidence you can start to play around with the composition of the different flours. So maybe do 50% rye and 50% whole wheat or 80% white flour and 20% rye. There are so many combinations you can do and this is something that you can test to see what works.
What Makes The Perfect Sourdough Bread
Making the perfect sourdough bread is about having the right flavor, the right type of crumb and texture and even smell. Ideally, you want the bread to be airy have a few open crumbs and a really nice crust. When you score the bread there should be a nice ear on the bread and a nice oven spring once baked.
If you do every step correctly and do not miss any of the steps you will get a sourdough bread that is soft, ready to eat, and taste good. This means everything from using the starter at the right time at its peak time. Making sure the bulk fermentation process is completely finished at the perfect time and not baking at a under-proofed or over-proofed stage.
And of course, kneading the dough correctly to ensure that the gluten is building strength in the dough and allowing the dough to be soft once it’s at its done the final proof stage.
If you want to know all 11 steps of making bread you can check out this article and it really explains and breaks down each step that you should be doing.
Why Is My Homemade Sourdough Bread So Dense?
Sourdough bread tends to be dense if it isn’t proofed properly. If it’s under-fermented and the dough didn’t have enough time to fully be fermented it will tend to have a gummy texture and big holes in the bread. It’s very important to ensure that the dough has risen properly before putting it in the oven.
Something that you can do to make sure that the dough is ready is jiggling the dough and making sure that there are air bubbles within the dough. Also doing a poke test if you decide to let the dough rise at room temperature is a great way to ensure it is ready while in the final proofing stage.
The dough should look relaxed while Rising as well as when you poke it it should slowly return to its shape. It shouldn’t feel tight when you poke the dough it should feel airy.
Check out this article that talks more about the poke test and how it works for sourdough bread.