Hello my dears!
Happy almost-Valentines Day!
I've been getting quite a few emails about sourdough, since I made my video: How to Soak Grains, Nuts, and Legumes Before Cooking. So I'm going to share my Sourdough starter recipe with you first, and later we'll talk about how to make sourdough bread.
You first make a starter (a mix of bacteria, flour, and water) or buy one. Once it has fermented, you use some of it to make bread & feed the remainder, then store it for the next bread baking day. Feeding a starter is to keep it strong. Adding it to your bread dough makes it ferment the dough, making it much easier to digest. It also brings out the minerals that get locked up by phytic acid. You can read more about phytic acid in my NaturalNews.com article. Sourdough probably looks complicated, but it's not! Once you get into a rhythm it is really simple.
A few notes about Homemade Sourdough Starters:
Sometimes Homemade starters work great and sometimes they don't. It's all dependent on the variety of yeasts and bacteria in your flour.
If it's not working, buy a starter from Cultures for Health. Every culture I've bought from them has been very strong and productive.
Try to use sprouted flour. Sprouted flour has lots of bacteria and yeast left from the plant, which will make your starter strong. It hasn't been heat-treated, highly processed, etc. A local health food store should have it. If not, check a flour mill in your area.
Don't use old flour (more than a month old) - it is oxidized and has no good bacteria in it.
Store your flour in the refrigerator. It will keep sprouted flour good for years. Keeps it fresh & alive.
You can use rye flour or wheat flour, but I prefer rye. Rye has more enzymes and bacteria than wheat, so your starter will probably be more robust.
Use filtered water. Chlorine in tap water is meant to kill bacteria. Your starter will be very sluggish and may never ferment when using tap water.
Rosemary's Sourdough Starter Recipe
3 Tbsp water (room temp) + 4 tsp rye flour + 2 tsp raisins.
Mix all of these together in a Mason jar. Using a clear glass container allows you to see the fermentation on the side (on Day 4+). Cover lightly with just the lid (leaving off the metal band). Leave in a warm place for 24 hrs.
Add 3 Tbsp water (room temp) to the mix. Stir. Then add 4 tsp rye flour and stir. Cover the same way & leave for 24 hrs.
Add 6 Tbsp water & stir. Then add 1/2 cup rye flour & stir well. Cover the same way & leave for 24 hrs. Check after 12 hrs. If it's bubbly and frothy, move on to "Day 4" Instructions.
It should be a little frothy with bubbles by this time. Remove and discard 75% of the mixture, leaving about 1/4 cup left over. Add 6 Tbsp water and stir well. Strain the raisins out and put the watery starter mix back into your Mason jar. Add 1/2 cup rye flour & 1/2 cup wheat flour. Stir. Cover and leave for 24hrs. Check after 12 hrs. If it's bubbly & frothy, move on to "Day 5" Instructions.
It should smell a little acidic and be frothy and bubbly. Smell it as soon as you open the lid. Remove and discard 75% of it. Add 6 Tbsp water. Stir. Then add 1 level cup of bread flour or a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and white. Stir. Cover and leave for 24 hrs or 12 hrs if your house is very warm (above 72 degrees F). If it's very bubbly and frothy, you can move on to "Day 6" even if it hasn't been 12 or 24 hrs.
You can use your starter now! As long as you can see bubbles and it's frothy, it will make your bread rise. If it's not frothy and bubbly, keep feeding it for more days (repeat Day 5) and eventually it will ferment. If not, try again with a different type of flour or buy a culture. After using what you need for your recipe, feed it again (same as "Day 5"), then store it in the fridge until it's needed again.
If you missed these blog posts here are the latest ones:
Put Down the Breakfast Cereal & Learn to Soak All about soaking grains, nuts, seeds, and beans and why you need to do this for gut health & weight loss