Turkey Red Wheat

I just tried an heirloom wheat, Turkey Red, which is hard red winter wheat, using the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe from an earlier post. This recipe has become my standard whole wheat bread for morning toast. I learned about Turkey Red when I was searching for information about the differences between red winter wheat and red spring wheat. My favorite wheat for this bread is Bronze Chief from Wheat Montana. Mountain Peoples Coop used to carry this grain company’s products but Azure Standard does not at this time.

Back to Turkey Red. This grain reportedly came to Kansas in the 1870s with Russian Mennonite immigrants and soon became the dominant wheat produced in the area. Even today the more modern wheat varieties can be traced to this type of wheat. Here is more information about this wheat from the Kansas Historical Society site: https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/turkey-red-wheat/16789

Overnight fermentation bulked up nicely.
Shaped and placed in pan for second rise.
Nice high rise, better get this in the oven before it overflows the pan!
Checking the temperature after 35 minutes should be over 200 degrees, so back in the oven for 20 minutes
The finished loaf! And the rise rivals that of Bronze Chief.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I was on the lookout for a whole wheat sandwich bread that I could use for breakfast toast, the great big soft loaf of bread that I made most school days while my children were growing up. I’ve lost that original recipe but had the look and feel and taste of that loaf in mind. I wanted it to be a sourdough for better nutrition and help with my blood sugar and I wanted it to be mostly whole wheat. I found a recipe that looked pretty close, but it wasn’t a sourdough recipe. So I did what any sourdough home researcher would do: I experimented until it worked.

Here’s the original post that I used: https://bakingamoment.com/soft-whole-wheat-bread/

from the Baking a Moment blog site. I made these changes: 1/2 cup sourdough starter instead of the yeast. I add a 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten. I mix this bread at night, give it a few stretches and let it ferment overnight. In the morning I shape it and let it rise from 1-2 hours and then bake it.

And here is a favorite breakfast starring this whole wheat sourdough:

Sourdough Starter: The Beginning of Everything

Welcome to this new blog for RHC Women to chat about Sourdough baking (and other things). Feel free to comment about any post or start another line of conversation! This is our blog!

For this first post, let’s start at the very beginning. Everything sourdough begins with sourdough starter. Your baked goods will only turn out well with an active starter that has the power to rise bread. Unless of course, you are using sourdough discard for some other baked goods, but that would be getting ahead of the story.

There are lots and lots of posts on internet blogs about how to start, feed, and bake with sourdough starters. There are lots of grains and recipes you might use to make a starter. King Arthur flour has a good blog site that describes this process https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/sourdough-starter-recipe

Active sourdough starter will be bubbly and thick

So that it has the power to raise heavy bread dough.

Making a Sourdough Starter

This starter in the photo is about a year old. Yup, it’s a Covid baby. It lives in the refrigerator and gets fed about once a week when I’m not baking. Do you see how bubbly and eager it is to get baking?

When I’m ready to bake, I take some of it and put it in a clean jar on the kitchen counter. I feed it 1-3 times a day, depending on how soon I want to bake. A general rule of thumb for me is that my starter is fed three times between coming out of the refrigerator and making bread.

But what if you are starting from scratch and you don’t have any starter? Here’s another great blog site to describe this process with photos!

Simple Sourdough Starter

Here’s another great site for information about starting a sourdough starter along with lots of great recipes, Little Spoon Farm. I use this site a lot: