Healthy Cooking

This Gut-Friendly Sourdough Bread Recipe Calls for a Secret Ingredient

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Natalya Syanova
Sourdough bread is the star of quarantine baking for a number of reasons. Not only is it delicious, but the fermented dough also gives your gut health a boost. I mean, what more could you want? You might not want to mess with your traditional sour dough bread recipes, but it’s always fun to switch things up with the addition of an avocado.

Natalya Syanova, the food blogger behind Natasha’s Baking, loves sourdough more than most people. She’s also a fan of experimenting with her recipes, and that’s why she decided to try to create a version that includes an avocado. The resulting avocado brioche recipe is a success due to its soft texture. An avocado adds an impressive amount of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants to every loaf.

Watch this video to find out why avocados are so good for your health:

In her recipe for avocado sourdough bread, Syanova used ripe avocados, bread, sweetened condensed milk, an egg, and a handful of other ingredients—including a sourdough starter. And if you look at the ingredients list, you’ll notice a lot of the ingredients are listed in grams. That’s because, when it comes to baking, it’s the only measurement she trusts. Using a kitchen scale ($28) means every measurement is so much more accurate.

“With sourdough baking, everything can be so unpredictable,” she says. “From my experience, I learned to follow all the directions and be very accurate with all the measurements. That’s why the scale is my best friend.”

Sourdough bread takes a whole lot of time and patience for everything to come together (this recipe takes three days to complete!), so the last thing you want is for even the tiniest measurement to be off. But once you taste the finished product, all that extra effort will be more than worth it.

Avocado brioche sourdough bread

Ingredients

For the stiff sourdough starter:
10 grams sourdough starter
30 grams water
60 grams bread flour

For the dough:
300 grams bread flour (100%)
150 grams ripe avocado (50%)
1 tsp lemon juice
100 grams sweetened condensed milk (33.3%)
1 large egg
30 grams milk
15 grams sugar (optional)
30 grams soft butter (10%)
60 grams stiff starter (20%)
6 grams salt (2%)
0.5 grams dry yeast (optional, to reduce sourness)

Day 1

1. At 10pm, add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, and form a ball. Roll it into a tight roll, place in jar, cover with water, and let sit at room temp 74°F to 78°F until it increases in size and starts to float on the top of the water.
2. In about 8 to 10 hours, the top of the starter will dry and the bottom will start to melt in water. We will need the center part of it.
3. Keeping stiff starter in the water will help to reduce its acidity and sourness of final product.

Day 2

1. At 8am, cut fresh ripe avocado and add it to the food processor along with lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, and an egg. Purée it all together. Note: if you are planning to use dry yeast, add it to the food processor as well.
2. Add purée and stiff sourdough starter and sugar to a flour. Mix dough on low speed of your mixing machine for 2 to 3 minutes, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3 to 4 minutes until well incorporated.
3. Add salt mix for a couple more minutes. The dough should form a ball and seems kind of stiff.
4. Add soft butter and mix for 10 more minutes until the dough is well incorporated and comes up together.
5. Cover and let it proof for 3 to 4 hours at 76°F to 80°F.
6. During that time, perform two stretches and folds. The dough should become slightly puffy.
7. At 12pm to 1pm, transfer the dough to the fridge for cold fermentation until the evening (for 8 to 9 hours).
8. At 10pm, remove the dough from the fridge.
9. Shape as desired. I used a glass loaf pan with the dimensions 16.6 by 2.5 by 9.8 inches.
10. You can divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and braid it.
11. Put a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of your loaf pan.
12. Transfer the shaped loaf into the loaf pan.
13. Cover the dough and let it proof overnight ( for 8 to 9 hours) at 70-72F /20-22C until it doubles in volume.

Day 3

1. Sprinkle some flour on top of your loaf or egg wash it.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
4. Enjoy your avocado brioche sourdough loaf.

Here’s another gut-friendly recipe to try:

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