Overnight Soaked Flour Sandwich Bread




About: Michael's Test Kitchen - FOOD - SUGAR - RECIPES

This Soaked Flour Sandwich bread is healthier than regular bread, in that its flour soaks overnight before baking. This has numerous health benefits, even though it is time consuming. But even though it is 'time consuming,' you don't have to spend a relatively long amount of time in the kitchen; and you can eat healthier. The time is worth it.

Sally Fallon, author of the book "Nourishing Traditions" explains some of the reasons why soaking your flour before baking is healthier:

-activates the enzyme phytase, which breaks down phytic acid (phytic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc)

-provides lactic acid and lactobacilli, helping to break down complex starches and proteins

-increases vitamin content

-makes the nutrients in grains more readily available

-softens whole grain flour, making it more palatable



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Step 1: Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves):

2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 ¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup buttermilk (or make your own, see step #2)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup room-temp water (or more if too dry)

½ cup oil ¼ cup warm water

2 ½ teaspoons active-dry yeast

2 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar (or honey)

2 teaspoon salt

Step 2: Soak Flour

If you don't have 1 cup of buttermilk, then you can make some; in a 1 cup liquid measuring dish, pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Then fill the rest of the cup up with milk. Let rest for a few minutes, or until curdled.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, combine flours. Then add buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, ½ cup water, and oil. Mix and stir until thick, tough, and homogeneous. Plastic wrap the bowl, and let rest on counter overnight. (12-24 hours).

Step 3: The Next Day...

The dough, after sitting overnight, will be slightly larger, browner, and less tough.

When ready to complete bread, place the dough in a warm oven (170 degrees) to warm up, for 10 minutes.

Step 4: The Yeast

In a small dish, combine very warm water (¼ cup) and active-dry yeast, and coconut sugar. Mix, and let rest for 5 minutes, or until yeast has bloomed.

Step 5: The First Rise

Pour yeast mixture into soaked flour dough mixture, and mix/knead in until fully combined. Let rest for 30-45 minutes, in a warm place.

Step 6: The Second Rise

On a floured surface, turn dough out. Sprinkle over with all the salt, and knead and knead for a few minutes, until all the salt is mixed in, and dough is smooth. Separate dough into two smooth logs. Place each of these logs in two greased loaf pans.

Set pans atop the warm oven, and let rise for another half hour.

Step 7: Bake It

When you are about ten minutes away from being done with rise time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When dough is done rising, place in oven to bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Take out of oven, and let cool a bit. Take loaves out of pans, and let them cool some more before cutting into slices and serving.

Once loaf is entirely cool, you can store it in a Ziploc plastic bag.

Step 8: Done!


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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Good question; You cannot substitute baking soda for yeast or vice versa. They are very different in the way they act.

    Yeast is an organism that takes a long time to rise, and baking powder rises very quickly once heated in the oven. Baking powder is for quick-breads, and Yeast is used for the traditional long-rise breads.

    Here's a helpful article about that:



    3 years ago

    Does this method yield a dense bread? My attempts with whole wheat breads have always resulted in baking a brick.

    3 replies

    I also baked bricks when I first started with baking yeast bread. I then realized my liquids were too warm, and I was killing the yeast. I started using a thermometer to check the liquids until I learned to judge the right temp by touch, and now my bread always rises really well. I would say the rise times in this recipe are a little short - I like to rise in the pan until your finger leaves a little dent if you touch it gently on the side, and it feels soft, but starts to fill out again. If you don't let it rise until double, it will feel too firm when you touch the side, and be more dense after baked than if fully risen. It will rise some in the oven while baking, called "oven spring", but only if the oven is nice and hot before baking - preheat at least 20 minutes.

    I've never heard of soaking the flour before baking - sounds really interesting and I'll have to try it! As kemperjl said, adding a little powdered gluten (about 1 TB per cup) to whole wheat flour does give better texture. Good luck with your baking!


    I don't think it's really dense. But if the yeast is dead, or the rising times are messed up, then you'll end up with a dense bread, probably.

    However, this bread is half all-purpose, and half "white Whole Wheat". White Whole Wheat makes the bread look and feel more like you used white flour, but has the good qualities of whole wheat. So this bread recipe isn't necessarily 'Whole Wheat' bread. It leans more on the 'white' side.

    The trick to making bread without brick-like properties lies mainly in the yeast; if the yeast is dead, it won't bloom, and the bread won't rise. Also, most yeast breads need multiple rise times; if the rise times are done properly, then you shouldn't have a problem with it, as long as you follow the recipe.




    3 years ago

    The trick to making a lighter bread is to add 1 Tbsp of gluten for each cup of flour, or use bread flour. The liquid added should be warm. Using cooking water from sweet potatoes, potatoes, or pasta helps feed the yeast. I have been making bread for over 40 years and am still learning new tricks. My earlier loaves were crumbly and dry, but now I get a nice lighter texture most of the time.

    1 reply

    3 years ago