For years one of my favorite sandwiches has been a sourdough philly cheese steak. Also for years I had no idea what the sourdough aspect even was, all I knew is that it was darn good. Once learning about fermented or cultured foods, I began to understand food a bit better, and how people of long ago ate. After learning how simple sourdough bread was to make I regretted not starting years before! Chances are you have some sort of sourdough food item you like as well. Let me just say starting the sourdough starter is so simple. Once learning this you will be on your way to crafting your own artisan style sourdough breads.
Sourdough, like most cultured foods, is far healthier than the conventional counterpart. Many people have food intolerances that did not exist in days long past. Have you ever wondered why so many people have a gluten intolerance if humans have been eating wheat for eons? Well the reasons are many, farming practices have changed, chemical drenched crops and baking short cuts have all led to the rise of food intolerances.
Sourdough bread was the norm for such a long time. The process of having a starter which is loaded down with lactobacillus, that is then added to flour and water to create the bread dough. This dough is left to set and rise for a minimum of 7 hours. In that process the bacteria in the starter not only acts as a leavening agent but also transforms the wheat into a much more gut friendly food. The result is an easily digestible food that does not cause the problems that many people face, such as IBS.
Start the starter with… Wild yeast
I do a new sourdough starter every year. Just a personal preference. I also know many avid sourdough bakers have been using the same starter for years! Either way, works. I like to start my starter outside as the variety of bacteria is a healthier variety than you find indoors. Baking with wild yeast. It’s simple and like kombucha with a continuous brew, you just keep your starter fed and alive.
What you need to start your sourdough starter
- Quart jar
- flour (I use organic whole wheat)
- rubber band or string
- filtered water
I grind my own wheat into flour, I feel like it’s much healthier. You don’t have to do that it’s not necessary, but you may try it, you may be surprised. Starting your starter is so simple, water and flour. Seriously simple.
Day one you want to mix 1/4 cup of filtered water to 1/3 cup of flour. Mix thoroughly. Poor it into a glass jar cover it with a piece of cheesecloth and/or a sprouting screen. I only use a piece of cloth (I have never felt like I needed more).
This where you want to move the jar outside. Spring and fall time of the year work best due to mild temperatures. Place your jar in a shady spot out in a garden, flower bed, or similar. I usually put my jar under a big leaf a squash plant or rhubarb, both work wonderfully.
Every day for 5-7 days bring it back in, transfer it to a mixing bowl add 1/3 cup of flour and 1/4 of water. Making sure to mix it well then transfer it back to a clean jar cover it with a cheesecloth once again, and return it outside.
You will begin to see bubbles in your starter, that is good that means it coming to life! After a week you can transfer the starter to your fridge, and continue to feed it daily. The more active it becomes the more bubbles you will see. It is now ready to make a delicious loaf of bread.
Congratulations, you now have your own sourdough starter. The natural yeast or rising agent in sourdough bread. With this you can start making your own homemade artisan breads, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, waffles and so much more. The health benefits of sourdough are so much more than traditions breads, with the added bonus of easy to digest. Welcome to bread making the way it once was. Sourdough is such a fun and easy way to make all sorts of bread items, it may be a slower process but try it and the results speak for themselves as far as health and nutrition go♡♡♡
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