If you are like me, you love the smell of something baking in the oven. It helps your house feel like a home and brings family members running to the dinner table. Nothing spells L-O-V-E like homemade baked goods, hot and fresh from the oven. But you probably don’t like the idea of spending a ton of time in the kitchen. You also might want to fix whole foods, as a foundation to better moods and health for yourself and your family. While white flour breadsticks may look prettier, they aren’t nutrient dense. You might be interested in using whole wheat flour but are concerned about the levels of phytic acid in whole wheat. You might be interested in increasing the digestibility of whole wheat flour so that your family will eat it and absorb all the nutrients and not have stomach problems. When I eat too much whole wheat that has not been properly prepared, that is soaked in a neutralizing agent, I get a stuffy nose. All the unsoaked bread I have ever eaten in my life has probably contributed to my, shall we say, voluptuous figure. (I am pinching the next person who asks me if I am pregnant! I am NOT!)
I had grown up with the idea that making bread or baked goods took a lot of time. I love the wholesomeness of homemade bread though, plus the money I save when I make it, so I got a breadmachine early in my homemaking days. My family has grown to 7 kids, so we have to use it round the clock practically, morning, noon, and night, to keep up with my family’s bread needs. Once my kids turn around 8 years old I teach them how to make bread with the breadmachine and it becomes one of their daily jobs to make bread. The breadmachine went kaput however. We could replace it (they are cheap at the local thrift store) or I could do like my devoted mother-in-law did in the 70s and 80s and set aside an afternoon every week to make two dozen loaves for her big family. That sounds so daunting! I don’t have a big Bosch mixer or a big counter to spread a lot of dough out. I hate making a big doughy mess and taking my wedding ring off to knead bread so it doesn’t get in the crevices, and then I hate having to remember to put the ring back on so I don’t lose it.
We could get grocery store bread but I really don’t like the ingredients list whenever I read it. So, instead of those choices we are using this recipe. I really like this recipe because I don’t have to get my hands messy with kneading the dough. As long as I don’t make cinnamon rolls or biscuits, I don’t ever have to get the dough out and make a huge mess, spreading it out and rolling it. I don’t have to time bread rising. I can just use a big spoon and stir it all up, and then leave it overnight and forget about it until I want to make bread the next day.
This is my friend Caralee’s Soaked Dough Recipe. With this recipe, you can have dough that is ready the next day to make into muffins, bread sticks, bread, biscuits, pizza crust, scones, or cinnamon rolls. The trick is just getting into the habit of fixing it, the day before you plan on using it, so that the dough has time to soak to make the grain more digestible and the nutrients more absorbable. I suggest making it part of your fixing-dinner-routine. Because I have limited counter space in my kitchen, I fix this dough up after my kids have cleaned up the kitchen from the mess of making dinner. It’s become part of my get-ready-for-bed chores routine and I listen to my iPod while I do it so that I actually look forward to doing it and it is less of a chore..
Caralee even submitted this recipe to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, and got it approved. I have adapted it somewhat. In Caralee’s original version she says to add the baking soda and salt after the dough has soaked all night, but I found it was hard for me to get all the soda and salt thoroughly mixed in. I don’t have a Kitchen-aid or Bosch mixer so that makes it harder to mix it all up. My family was eating pockets of soda in the bread that was gagging them. So now I mix the soda and salt with the flour before adding the liquid, when I first mix it up.
Soaked Whole Wheat Dough
Mix 6 cups of whole wheat flour with the following:
1 T baking soda
1 T salt
Mix thoroughly so that the soda and salt are evenly distributed.
then add your liquid ingredients:
1 cup water with 3 cups cultured buttermilk
1/3 cup coconut oil or melted butter (when I use butter I just use 1/2 cup, or a stick, so I don’t have to measure 1/3)
(I have not had cultured buttermilk so I use 4 cups water with 4 T lemon juice. You could also use 1 T of kefir or plain, whole fat yogurt per cup of liquid, or even 1 T of apple cider vinegar per cup of water)
Stir the ingredients until you have a rubbery dough-like mass of a ball, scraping the sides of the bowl clean as you stir.
Cover with a towel or aluminum foil and let sit on the counter overnight. The acidic medium will break down the phytic acid in the grain, which makes all grain hard to digest and blocks the absorption of minerals into your body. In the morning you might see a grayish-tint on the top of the dough. Don’t freak out about it, just stir it in.
While you sleep dream of the delicious, wholesome baked goods you will prepare for your family the next day! For special days that you want to kick off with a fancy breakfast, like our recent General Conference Saturday and Sunday, I like to fix cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
You can do the following the next day:
Grease a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with melted butter. You can use all the dough or just half. Sometimes I will plan on having breadsticks for both lunch and dinner so then I will divide the dough in half and use half for each meal. Other times I will want the whole mass of dough for one meal’s worth of breadsticks and I fill the whole cookie sheet with one batch of dough. One batch conveniently just fits my size of jelly roll pan. Spread it out with a rubber spatula onto the pan or cookie sheet. If I divide the batch into half I still use the jelly roll pan or I will use my round pizza pan.
You could probably use stone bakeware, I just don’t have any so I have never tried it with that.
Smother with savory or sweet toppings. For savory, use basil or Italian seasoning with salt and pepper, or melted butter with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Or grated cheese with basil and salt and pepper. Or parmesan cheese. Use your imagination and come up with your own ideas!
For sweet toppings, smother with honey or honey butter, and cinnamon, or Rapadura or Sucanant (whole cane brown sugar) and cinnamon or nutmeg. Again, use your imagination, the sky’s the limit!
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into breadsticks. These don’t look pretty like the white flour ones but they are much more nutritious for you. And I am serious when I say “smother.” These breadsticks are dense! The smothered-on toppings make the breadsticks taste better because the higher ratio of sweet or savory topping to bread makes it easier to chew all the “breadness.”
Divide into two sections and put each section as a mound of dough into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until a fork inserted comes out clean.
The rest of these variations come from Caralee:
Flatbread- roll out dough, using a little arrowroot as necessary to prevent sticking, and cook using a tortilla maker or on a lightly buttered pan on stovetop until bubbles form and the edges look done (not sticky or doughy) . Turn once and serve hot with butter or cheese, or any other topping of your choice.
Rolls- Shape dough into any sort of roll you desire and bake in preheated 350º oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and smelling delicious.
Pizza- Roll out dough onto pizza stone, using a little cornmeal on the bottom, if desired, and bake at 350º for approximately five minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, add pizza sauce, desired toppings and cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Another option is to not pre-bake the crust, but to simply add sauce, topping and cheese onto rolled out dough and bake until the crust and cheese are golden. Enjoy!
Crackers- Roll out dough and spread with ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil. Optional- sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (onion powder, garlic powder, salt, chili powder, or sucanat and cinnamon, etc.) Dehydrate or bake at 200º until crisp.
Empanadas, cheese bread, bread sticks, pizza pockets, tortillas, scones, you get the picture- use your imagination! This dough is very versatile and easy to use. Just roll it out in a little arrowroot powder, if needed, and proceed. Here are a few more variations to try:
Cinnamon rolls- Add a little sucanat to your dough when you are mixing in the salt and baking soda (approximately ¼ cup) and proceed to roll out dough into a nice rectangle shape. Spread dough with butter or applesauce, cinnamon, sucanat, raisins or nuts (optional, of course) and roll as you would to make ordinary cinnamon rolls. Cut dough with dental floss and place on stoneware or cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until done. Mix a little honey and vanilla in some Daisy sour cream and spread on hot rolls. Bon appetit!
Muffins- Split the dough in two halves and set aside one half for later use. If you are using your bread mixer, change the dough hook to the cookie whisk and proceed with recipe. Add two to three eggs (you will have to experiment with this to see which consistency you like best), ¼ to 1/3 cup sucanat, 1 teaspoon vanilla and whatever mix-ins you prefer (blueberries are yummy, as well as pecans, etc). Blend well in mixer with cookie whisks and bake in muffins pans for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve with butter, honey butter, or cream cheese.
Enjoy! This recipe reminds me of the idea from the popular series, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. You get in the habit of mixing up bread dough daily, which takes about 5-10 minutes, and then the next day you shape the dough before baking, which takes 5 or so more minutes. So far I haven’t been able to get the bread to look pretty, like my sister’s artisan bread below, which she learned how to make by reading the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. Maybe if I get coaching from her mine can look like a darker version of these lovely beauties. The advantage to this recipe is that the bread is whole wheat, and soaked, which makes it nutrient-dense, and it’s also yeast free! I never knew until this recipe that I could make yeast-free whole wheat bread.
My breadsticks, pictured below, look more like rough pieces of wood hewn by peasants, but they are nutrient dense. You can only eat a few and feel full and satisfied. Have fun with this recipe and please let me know how yours turn out!