When I lived in Germany from the late 70s until the early 90s, I baked bread a couple of times a week switching between white and whole wheat recipes that my family enjoyed.
However, since returning to my home state of Minnesota, I hadn’t made bread once in the last twenty years. That all changed a couple of months ago after I started my metabolic balance® journey.
Since I hadn’t found a bakery that makes sourdough rye bread made without whole wheat flour added, I decided to start baking my own bread again.
My coach, Christine Lindell Detweiler’s husband is an excellent resource for rye bread but he was unfortunately traveling in South Africa when I started and I didn’t want to wait until he returned to get rye starter and a demonstration of the process. I Googled “How to Make Your Own Sour Dough Starter” and printed the 12-page, somewhat arduous instructions, complete with photos and diligently studied the 12 pages of instructions.
Sourdough starter takes about five days to “activate”and my first attempt failed – I’m not sure why – but there weren’t enough “bubbles” and I tossed it. I tried again. Fast forward five days: another failed attempt.
At this point, I called Christine to ask if Phil was back from his travels and, as luck would have it, he was and he delivered some of his starter the next day.
With the active starter, I was ready to commence making my first batch of sourdough rye bread. Amazingly, I still had my old bread pans and over the next few weeks, I continued to bake bread and muffins. The consistency and finished product improved in texture and taste with each batch.
Before long, I preferred the ease of muffins over a loaf of bread. Muffins were easy to eat and didn’t need slicing and they are a perfect portion. I also found them easy to freeze and keep fresh. Muffins also worked better than loaves which never seemed completely cooked in the center despite being in the oven for the required time.
my sister, Sharon Henneman of rural Minnesota, is my inspiration for starting on the MB® plan and after telling her about my baking experiences, she asked if I’d show her how I did it. I agreed to demonstrate my baking skills during her Birthday weekend celebrations.
On the first morning of our visit to the family retreat in Ashby, MN, Sharon and I started our Sister Time Bread Baking Session.
We worked with the same ingredients and measurements, but we had different styles of kneading the dough. I like to keep it contained in a large bowl, whereas Sharon turned her dough out on the counter to knead.
She noticed a different consistency in our doughs with mine being somewhat “lighter”and hers more dense. The only difference I could distinguish was that during the kneading process, I added small amounts of flour – this dough is V E R Y S T I C K Y – as well as olive oil on my hands several times.
After four kneading sessions, with 45-minute raising times in between each session, we both formed our dough into muffin forms.
We covered the muffin forms with tea towels and left them to raise for five hours and spent the rest of the afternoon playing our favorite card game: Hand & Foot.
Later that evening we baked our muffins to perfection.
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Results: I’m loosing between a pound to a pound and a half a week [.45 – .68 kg]. At first I was disappointed until I realized it’s much healthier to have a steady weightloss week after week. With my weightloss to date, I’m able to exercise 3-4 times a week either on the treadmill or – now that the snow has melted and weather permitting – I walk in our neighborhood park for 30 minutes.
Tip: Slow down, be present in the moment and enjoy spring.