Recipe: Quinoa & Sorghum Sourdough Bread

It's easy to enjoy a bowl of quinoa these days and forget the exact nature of the origin of this seed. Originating in the North Andean mountains of South America and initially cultivated by the Inca people, quinoa is a crop that is widely thought to potentially help end hunger in many parts of the world. Even during soaring price rises in the 2000s, quinoa was still a staple for the Latin American people who have actually grown the crop. Sorghum is used often in Honduras and is planted as a mixed crop along with maíz. It doesn’t require as much water though, so it is often used in place of maíz for tortilla making as farmers can grow it in otherwise desirable areas. I decided to create a simple loaf with these two ingredients as an homage to the beauty of Latin American agriculture.

What You Need For Levain (Makes Extra)

100 grams mature sourdough starter

100 grams King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour

100 grams King Arthur Bread Flour

200 grams warm water

What You Need For Final Mix

750 grams Warm Water

200 grams Levain (from the above build)

500 grams Bread Flour

300 grams All-Purpose Flour

200 grams Whole Wheat Flour

200 grams Whole sorghum, cooked

200 grams Tri color quinoa, cooked

100 grams Rolled oats

50 grams honey

20 grams Salt

What You Need To Do:

  1. Mix 700 grams of your water and all of the flour together, without the levain. Let this mixture sit for about 45 minutes.

  2. After you've let this rest, add your levain, 20 grams of water, the honey, and squeeze into the mix. Don't tear at the dough, just gentle incorporation. Once this is fully incorporated, let it rest for 5 minutes.

  3. Add your remaining water, the salt, and the rolled oats into the mix. Use the same technique to incorporate everything into the mix. Make sure you aren't tearing or pulling at the dough too hard. It will take some time but it will slowly absorb all of the water. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes

  4. Mix your quinoa and sorghum together in a separate bowl.

  5. After 30 minutes, add 100 grams of the quinoa/sorghum mixture to the surface of the dough. Stretch each side of the dough over and into the middle. Flip all of the dough upside down, cover, and let rest another 30 minutes.

  6. After the second 30 minute rest period, repeat step 5.

  7. After all of your quinoa/sorghum mixture is added to the dough, let the dough ferment for 4-6 hours at room temperature.

  8. After the bulk fermentation, divide the dough in 2 on a floured work shape and shape. If needed, you can slightly degas your dough. For the final shape, you can use a tension roll, a simple round, or stitching. Or anything else. You can check out my Instagram feed for various shaping videos.

  9. Place your shaped dough into a floured bowl, banneton, couch, or kitchen cloth. Whichever vessel you use, coat it also with extra sorghum, oats, and quinoa. Any vessel that helps maintain the structure works, but you can also flour a cutting board and place your shaped dough, seam side down, there. Cover with a plastic bag or cloth and put into the fridge for 10-12 hours for more fermentation.

  10. What you're looking for after the proof is a slight jiggle and a bouncy surface when you press down on the dough. Use a wet fingertip to do this. Your dough should have noticeably gained some volume but doesn't have to be overflowing out of your proofing vessel.

  11. Pre-heat your oven with the cast iron or baking stone inside to 500f. If you have a temperature gun, it's best to check the actual baking surface for the temperature. Sometimes your oven will be done preheating but your cast iron may be a bit cooler than desired.

  12. Once you load your loaf, turn the heat down to 475 and bake for 20 minutes covered. If using a pizza stone, you can use a spray bottle to generate steam in your oven. I would also recommend putting your loaf seam side up in this case to get a natural, rustic score.

  13. I like to turn the heat back up to 500 after the initial part of the bake and move my bread up to the top rack to get it as dark as possible. I love to bake bold and have that nice flavorful crust.

  14. Once your bread is done baking, there's only one thing left to do. Enjoy!

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