We make our own bread products in this house, and rely heavily on commercial yeast from the grocery store. Not only is the stuff expensive, it’s not self-sustaining, since you have to keep buying it to keep making bread. I discovered how to make my own yeast by simply mixing flour and water and letting the mixture spontaneously capture wild yeast from the air (like a little yeast trap!).
Now I use this yeast to bake. Voila! – sourdough!
Sourdough is not really a thing. It’s just that the dough sours while you’re letting the natural yeast accumulate and when the bread is rising. Tasty!
Everything I’m learning about sourdough right now is from an e-book I bought at GNOWFGLINS. It was $20, and it has already been worth the money. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
–First, I had to make the sourdough “starter” (the “yeast trap”).
—–In a glass jar, I mixed 1/4 cup water, and 3/8 cup flour, and covered it loosely with a cloth.
—–Every 12 hours, for the next two weeks, I “fed” it with those same amounts of water and flour, but I would remove half of the existing concoction from the jar before adding new flour/water (so I didn’t end up with tons of it – the point is not to increase quantity, but to multiply the bacteria).
—–Once I saw bubbles, I knew it was good to bake with! This took between one and two weeks. (Note: using anti-bacterial products to clean your kitchen is no good for starting sourdough. Bacteria can be good! And if you kill them all, there will be no yeast to trap!)
Then the baking began!
So far, I have made:
1) Sourdough pancakes (forgot to take a picture of these…but they looked pretty much like normal pancakes, except that Nathan likes chocolate chips in his)
2) Sourdough english muffins (on the griddle!)
3) Sourdough pizzas!
Future sourdough projects include: bread (rising/souring as I type this today), tortillas, pita bread, rolls, waffles, crepes, crackers, biscuits, muffins, cookies, scones, cakes, hamburger buns, etc,etc, ETC!!!
Sourdough is great, because every person’s “starter” is their own – it is unique, and it is yours to keep, grow, and feed indefinitely! But there are also health benefits to using sourdough. Here’s a snippet from my e-book on why sourdough is so healthy.
“It is an ecosystem of wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria that work together to add B-vitamins to grains, to break down gluten for better digestion, and to neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. The sourdough starter’s organisms are much more versatile with regard to temperature or other conditions, and the bread doesn’t stale as quickly.”
Phytic acid breakdown is hugely important. Phytates bond to certain nutrients in breads, prohibiting your body from absorbing them. So when phytic acid is broken down (through using sourdough, or by soaking your non-sourdough bread in an acid medium – I might have to post about that eventually), the nutrients become more accessible!
Additionally, just like other cultured and fermented foods (like yoghurt), there are beneficial bacteria in sourdough that are good for the digestive and immune systems.
Good, and good for you!
In Other News…
We picked the season’s first blackberries on Thursday! They’re tart, but I think the later ones will be sweeter.
They went into a smoothie with some homegrown strawberries (which are still smallish and softish, because the plants are still young), a handful of frozen store-bought berries, yoghurt, a banana, and of course ice.
Also, Nathan and Saylor and I went on a hike through the woods yesterday! We picked off lots of ticks, and scrubbed real good in the shower afterwards, but it was a fun time (and we found more blackberries).
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!