X Bread

The bread gets its name from many experimental attempts to achieve what I wanted, which was a non yeast sour dough starter type of bread with a lot of fiber, medium protein, low fat and, moderate salt. The sour dough starter provides a higher acidic environment to 'leach' out a higher mineral content from the extra bran present. The longer time it takes to make this bread also plays a role in this concept, also there's apple cider vinegar to push the acidity further. Anyway, this is what my tinkering wrought.

Yield: 30 to 40 slices depending on thickness
Collections: Bread

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Fleur de Sel translates to β€œthe flower of salt”, referring to the way the crystals bloom on the surface of the drying pool. This high... Size Options
$22.49 16 oz package

X Bread Recipe

  • 2 cups active starter (see preparation notes)
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn flour
  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 cup whole grain oat flour
  • 1 cup whole grain durum flour (not semolina)
  • 2 cups whole grain hard red winter wheat flour
  • 3 cups unbleached malted all-purpose white flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt like Fleur de Sel de Noirmoutier Malandel French Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon "live" apple cider vinegar
  • 21 fluid ounces "best" water
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Preparation Instructions

step one: mix the starter, corn flour, vinegar, and hard-red-winter wheat with 15 ounces of water stir well and let set covered until there's maximum expansion of the 'sponge' this may take an hour or so.

step two: mix 6 ounces of water with the 2 tsp of sea salt and set aside

step three: mix all the remaining flours together dry

step four: after starter has expanded to its maximum size stir down add the salty water mixing the whole lot throughly. Add this to the mixing bowl (in my case a kitchenaid mixer with a bread hook) start the mixer in the liquid then add by cups the dry flour until all is consumed in the sponge letting the machine mix until the dough is one ball and nothing remains on the sides of the bowl.

At this time stop the machine remove the hook and cover the mixing bowl with a plastic sheet. Let this rise until it reaches the top of the bowl. Replace the hook and repeat the previous mixing for a couple of minutes. Stop again remove the hook cover the bowl and let the dough rise for a second time. After the second rise, replace the hook letting it run only enough to clean the sides of the bowl. Turn out and shape the loaf placing it in a large bread pan. I use a 14 inch long La Forma deep bread pan. You could always use two smaller bread pans but the loaves are not as grand.

You will need to cover the pan or pans while the dough rises, that's tricky but it involves something large and hopefully transparent. This type of dough by this time is quite sticky. Usually before one hour is up the dough will have risen just past the top of the pan. Don't let it over rise as there is a lot of growth in the oven. It also has the tendency to break somewhat on one side or the other, clever scoring of the dough after it has been put in the pan will help ameliorate this effect. I can't give you much advice on that.

Prepare at least 30 minutes before you think you will need to start the baking, an oven at 350 degrees F. that includes a pan of water inside, leaving it there whilst the bread bakes for one hour.

Yield: 30 to 40 slices depending on thickness
Helpful Hints

The Starter: Using no reactive metal containers, glass being better and similar non reactive mixing tools, mix first, 3 cups of dark rye flour (it is preferable to mill your own from rye berries) 10 fluid ounces of filtered or steam distilled water (no tap water) leave this in the bowl on the counter covered with plastic wrap for a couple of days or until signs of fermenting activity.

At this point add another cup of dark rye flour and 4 more fluid ounces of water stir well and recover with the plastic. After this has become active, add 1/2 cup of dark rye flour to the mix and recover with the plastic letting it 'age' overnight.

It is important to keep the starter always covered as the mixture of microbial agents you are encouraging are already present on the rye flour. It is important to avoid any possible spoilage bacteria that may be present during the long fermenting process.

If you grind your own rye flour from rye berries you will be much more likely to be successful in the production of this starter. But dark rye flour from the store should work as well.

Lastly, after the removal of the 2 cups of starter for the bread, add more rye flour to the remainder of the starter until fairly stiff, pat this down flat in the bottom of the bowl and cover with the 'good' water (not mixed in only on top) to a depth of about one inch. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and it will keep well in the refrigerator without further attention for a week to ten days, at which time it will be needed for another loaf.

Generally one of these large loaves will last without refrigeration for more than a week kept tightly wrapped in an HDPE (no.2) plastic bag, with no concern for the appearance of mold or any appreciable loss of flavor. The bread is 'heavy' as you might expect but stays moist and cuts thin or thick to your preference. It is good for toast and sandwiches, and very nutritious.


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