For years I was intimidated even by the thought of making sourdough bread. It seemed so impossible to make a leavening for bread by mixing flour and water and letting it sit for days at room temperature. I just didn’t see how this could possibly work. Yet, this is just what sourdough starter is. It is so simple that anyone can make it.
Sourdough starter does more than make bread rise. It can also be used to make incredible pancakes and waffles, sweetrolls, muffins, crackers, cakes, tortillas, pizza, pretzels and much more.
Good for you too.
Sourdough starter not only gives bread and other baked goods incredible lightness and that slightly tangy taste, it has so many benefits for our health. Sourdough leavening neutralizes phytic acid, making nutrients more available in the foods we eat. It strengthens our immune systems.
Fermenting Is Important
In recent days, bread, and wheat in particular, has come under attack and is now called a harmful food. Wheat itself, however, is not solely problem. How we treat the wheat is just as important as how it treats us. It is a great deal how we prepare, or rather fail to prepare the wheat that causes us so much grief.
Make It Slowly
When our grandparents made bread, they started bread early in the morning. They used a little yeast and punched down the risen dough two to three times throughout the day. It was a slow process. With the advent of Industrialization, flour is made into bread in factories on a large scale very rapidly. While this practice is good for big business, it is not very good for us. We need the natural fermentation that occurs in slow rise breads and other naturally fermented foods.
Easy To Make
My last article was on making sourdough bread, which is super easy once you have a good starter. Starters can be purchased through the mail from many good companies. You can also get sourdough from a friend who bakes with it. But if you are willing, I am going to teach you how to make your own starter. It is also very easy, so long as you are patient. Once you have a strong starter, it will keep for as long as you use and feed it.
Pretty painless isn’t it? Let me know how your starter turned out and what you make with it. Leave a note for me in the comments below. Thanks.
From our kitchen,
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