A Happy Mistake – Strawberry Sourdough

I never intended to put strawberry yogurt in this loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread!  I intended to try using the electric blender to blend the rice.  Since it was a very cold afternoon, I did intend to add plain yogurt to the bread.  (Supposedly this helps sourdough to rise.  It didn’t.) But I was tired (I have a bad cold) and in a hurry, so I didn’t really look at the containers of yogurt… But it was a very nice mistake!  There are no bits of strawberries in the bread (it was very cheap yogurt!)  There is also no visible sign of rice. This bread tastes and smells very faintly of strawberries.  If I didn’t know it was strawberry flavored, I would realize this is a very different loaf of bread, but I’m not sure I’d guess it was strawberry.  I’ll have to try it on a stranger next time I know someone is coming over.  <grin>

Makes 1 large loaf

16-24 hours before you want to eat the bread, combine in a medium sized bowl and mix well:

2 Cups Whole Wheat flour
1/2 Cup cooked rice, blended with 1/4 milk to the consistency of hand lotion (Electric blender required!)
1 Cup very active sourdough starter (or 2 teaspoons store bought yeast and another 1/2 cup of water.)
1/2 Cup warm water
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 small containers (2  4 ounce containers) of strawberry yogurt
3 tablespoons honey

When it’s well mixed, and the dough is just beginning to pull away from the bowl, place in a well oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly, and place in a warm, draft free place for at least 12 hours.  The dough should double (or more than double) in size, but still be sticky and moist.

(When I made this bread, we had a difficult night.  Coyotes were around the house, and our dogs where constantly demanding to go outside to chase the coyotes away.  The temperature was well below 0°F and there was no part of the house that was truly “draft free” or warm.  Instead of the dough doubling in size, it barely puffed up…  I don’t know if that’s why it was so hard to knead…  This was also when I discovered my mistake with the yogurt.  I’m saving yogurt containers at the moment, and BAM! There were two empty containers of strawberry yogurt instead of plain.  I was not a happy person for a while, but I still wanted to see if my rice was now invisible in the bread.)
Using up to 3 cups whole wheat flour, knead the dough until very smooth, and barely sticky.  This took me quite a long time before I finally gave up and put the dough in my new stand mixer, using the dough hook.  Less than 2 minutes later I had perfectly kneaded bread, ready to shape.  I didn’t feel up to shaping it, so I simply tossed it in a well oiled large bread pan, and pressed it level into the pan. Using a well oiled hand, I lightly oiled the top of the bread.   Bread is very forgiving!

Let the dough rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size.  My dough took 5 hours to rise, but again, it’s very cold outside, and the dogs kept demanding to go out to be sure no coyotes were infringing on their territory….

When the dough has doubled in size, place a large pan of cold water in the bottom of your oven, set the oven to 350°F, and once the oven is filled with steam it’s hot enough to bake bread.  Leaving the pan of water in the bottom of the oven, put the bread into the oven for 25 minutes.

Take the bread out of the bread pan, and put it on a flat tray before putting it back in the oven.  This makes the sides of the loaf nice and crusty. Bake another 15 minutes, or until bread tests done.

Strawberry Yogurt Bread – note how nice the sides of the loaf look!
Both my husband and I prefered cream cheese on this loaf.

Happy Eating!



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