I don't know what it is with my breads lately but they just don't want to rise like they used to. And not just the sourdough but with yeast as well. I need to go back to my original recipe that really rose well and see if I have any luck with it. The flavors are still good but I would really like a fluffy bread again.
Both the bread and the biscuits look like whole grain but I only used white flour in them. The sourdough sponge is made from rye flour though so I guess that's where the color is coming from. It's not that I didn't want to use whole wheat flour but I had none. I had to locate a good container for my wheat grinder since it is gone. I finally found one so I hope to be pulling it out and using it soon. :o)
Sourdough Flax Seed Bread
2 cups active sourdough starter
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (optional)
1/4 cup flax seed (optional)
1 tablespoon poppy seed (optional)
4 1/2-5 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 1/4 cups cold bottled water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 (Optional) Put the sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and poppy seeds in a hot, clean, dry skillet and stir them. Let them roast, with frequent stirrings, until they become fragrant. Be careful to make sure they don't scorch! Toasting the seeds makes them - and the bread - much more tasty. You may also roast the seeds in a 375F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
2 Mix the active starter, water, oil and honey together. (I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook for this process.).
3 Add the (optional) seeds.
4 Stir in the flax meal.
5 Add the salt and then stir in the flour one cup at a time until the dough is too thick to stir.
6 Pour the dough onto a floured work surface (or turn up the speed on your Kitchen Aid) and knead until the dough is resilient. The dough is a rather sticky dough; it's important not to over-flour the dough.
7 Once the dough is well kneaded, turn it out into an oiled bowl, turn and cover.
8 Let it rise until doubled.
9 Deflate the dough, knead briefly, cut and shape into rough loaves.
10 Let the dough sit, covered, for 30 minutes, then shape into final loaves.
11 Let rise, covered, until doubled.
12 Preheat the oven to 375°F.
13 Bake 30 to 45 minutes.
Sourdough Angel Biscuits
1 cup sourdough starter (active and bubbly)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
4 tablespoons shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter or 1/4 cup margarine
1 Measure sourdough starter into mixing bowl.
2 Add sugar.
3 Dissolve yeast in warm water.
4 Add to starter.
5 Cut shortening into mixture of salt, baking powder, and flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
6 Add to starter mixture, stirring well with a fork.
7 Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently, adding more flour if necessary.
8 Roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut with biscuit cutter.
9 Dip in melted butter and place in a greased cake pan with edges touching.
10 Cover with a cloth or plastic and set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
11 Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: I found that they didn't rise mush so I would suggest not rolling them so thin. Seems odd to me that with three rising agents that these things didn't rise...
I definitely like the bread better than the biscuits... and the bread was about the same amount of work, just more waiting time is all.