- (7-9 cups) Heritage Red Fife Flour
- (2 tsp) Salt
- (1/2 cup) Ground Flaxseed (optional)
- (1 cup) Active Sourdough Starter
- (3 cups) Water
- (1-2 Tbsp (optional)) Honey
1. Place 6 cups flour, salt, and flax in the bowl of a large, heavy-duty mixer along with the liquid ingredients. You can mix by hand, but it will take patience, muscle power, and the ability to not get annoyed with lots of dough on your hands.
2. Start mixing the dough on your mixer’s dough setting.
3. At this point, the dough will be very sticky. Add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time with the mixer running, until the dough is still moist, slightly sticky, but holding together well. It will start to pull away from the mixer sides. You should also be able to see it stretching as the mixer kneads it. Remember: When in doubt, err on the side of a wetter dough.
4. Scrape the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with either a wet towel or plastic wrap to hold in moisture. Then, allow it to rise for 6-10 hours, or overnight. The rising time will depend on how warm your room is and the nature of your sourdough starter.
5. Once the dough has fully risen, punch it down and divide it into two equal sections. If the dough feels stiff at this point, gradually knead in more water until it feels smooth, moist, but not really sticky. Shape into loaves.
6. Butter 2 large loaf pans and place the loaves in the pans. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. This usually takes 4-5 hours, but can vary.
7. Preheat the oven to 400. When the dough has doubled and the oven is hot, bake the loaves for 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pans and cool them on a wire rack before slicing, buttering, and enjoying.
Note: You can substitute some of the whole wheat flour for rye flour. This can change the dough's texture and final rise, though, so only substitute 1-2 cups of the wheat flour.