1 recipe Sour Dough Starter or
1oz.fresh yeast or 1 tbs. dry yeast
2 ½ lbs. whole-wheat flour (any flour of your choice can be
1 tbs. salt
2 ½ to 3 cups warm water
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. milk
2 tbs. honey (optional)
Although it’s preferable to use the sour dough starter, you
can use yeast for a quicker version of this bread. It won’t
give you the heavy flavor, but it will still be delicious. If
you’re using fresh or dry yeast, dilute it in 1 cup of warm
water. Into a large mixing bowl, mix the flour with the salt
and make a well in the center of it. Pour in the yeast
mixture or sour dough starter, oil, milk and honey – if you’re
using it, and the remaining water.
Using you hands, incorporate the flour from the sides of the
bowl into the mixture. Keep mixing it until it’s soft and
sticky. Flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it.
Keep kneading it until it becomes more elastic.
Add a bit
of olive oil to the empty mixing bowl and using your fingers,
coat the sides with it. Put the dough back into this bowl.
Cover it with a clean, cloth kitchen towel and set it aside in
a warm place to rise. I would also wrap the covered bowl up
in a blanket as well to keep it warmer. Let it rise until
it’s double in bulk – 1 ½ to 2 hours.
After it’s risen, punch the dough back down and turn it out
onto the floured work surface. Knead it for another 5
minutes. Divide the dough into 3 loaves (or any quantity and
size that you prefer) and shape them. Round or cylindrical,
…the choice is up to you. Place them on un-greased baking
sheets – allowing for room between them when they rise. Cover
the breads and sheets with clean towels and a blanket and let
them rise again in a warm place – about 1 hour.
have risen for the second time, bake them in a hot oven –
450F. If they seem that they are getting too brown too fast,
loosely cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil. Also, don’t
use a convection oven – it will burn them. Just good old
fashion ‘bake’ them. After 20 minutes, reduce the temperature
to 400F and bake them for another 20-25 minutes until browned.
If you like thick crusts on your bread, you
can use a sharp knife and make ½ inch deep slashes across the
top of the loaves before you bake them. Although the village
women don’t do this, it does make the loaves look prettier.
Also, If you prefer your bread lighter and airier, place a pan
of water in the bottom of the oven when you begin to bake at
450F and then remove it when you reduce the heat to 400F. The
steam that will be released will help the dough rise more.
Again, this is not traditional to the Islands, but it gives a
different texture to the bread for another variation.
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