I’ve wanted to make fresh bread for some time. I don’t live in a city where walking to a bakery daily for fresh bread is an option. I buy whole grain bread because it’s healthier. Most commercial bread options, unfortunately have a long list of additives and preservatives. It is convenient. But, is it good for you?
My brief research revealed that sourdough bread is easier to digest, has a low gluten content and higher nutrient availability, so I took the plunge on a sourdough starter. I’m a gal from Alabama so, I’m allowed to use the word ain’t when I say, it aint gonna be as easy as opening a bag and taking out 2 slices of bread that someone else made but, it’s worth the effort to have steamy, fresh bread free of preservatives. I’m not sure what day I’m on. I’ve measured the ingredients on a scale to a T, which Mike thinks is silly and unnecessary. I told him to kiss my grits and get out of my kitchen. The bubbles and lines on the jar indicate active yeast and lactobacillus.pub-4561044891259873, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
In the beginning, I fed my starter once a day. Then I began to feed the sourdough baby once in the morning and again 12 hours later. Sometimes I feed my dough baby whole wheat flour, sometimes all-purpose flour, sometimes bread flour and sometimes a mix. Hubs bought organic rye flour about seven days in and the dough baby’s activity took a hiatus. No rising, no bubbles, no nothing. Day 2 of rye flour again produced no signs of life and I thought I’d killed my sourdough baby!
I decided to scrap the rye flour idea and go back to whole wheat and bread flour. Hallelujah!! I saw bubbles!
I had to pop it in the fridge as we were going on our annual family vaca. I haven’t gotten back home yet, so I’m not sure how it will go when I get back, but I’m not a quitter! Sourdough babies can’t talk, otherwise I would give it a call and ask it how it’s doing. I hired a dog sitter. Maybe I should have hired a starter sitter. They do that in Sweden, you know.
Even though it’s just a bit of flour, I hate throwing it out. I decided to try a few sourdough starter recipes.
My first attempt at waffles didn’t go as planned. I found the recipe on theperfectloaf.com. They looked pretty, but I forgot to add the eggs, baking soda and salt in the morning. Epic fail. Mike and I ate them anyway. We used a lot of syrup. Oh well.
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything” – John Wooden, Hall of Fame basketball player and coach at UCLA
On to attempt number two! Sourdough starter pancakes. They were good! I’m so thankful I didn’t botch the batch! I acquired the recipe from tastesoflizzyt.com.
something you may not know: due to the pre-digested starches, sourdough bread is more easily digestible. Probiotics protect vitamin B1 from the damage that the heat of baking causes. Gluten sensitive people may tolerate sourdough bread products as the long fermentation process allows bacteria to break down carbohydrates and gluten in the bread.
Q: I am trying to avoid sugar and I have read that flour turns to sugar in the blood. Is this true for sourdough?
A: Yes. All carbohydrates break down into a simple glucose that the body uses for energy. People often refer to glucose as sugar, but glucose isn’t sucrose which is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose. Avoiding added sugars is a good thing, but avoiding a proper amount of carbs isn’t healthy. Please read my post, ‘So, What About That Low-Carb Diet?‘. Other posts you may find informative are, According to a Recent Study and Let’s Crunch Numbers.
Q: Is it safe to leave my starter out on the counter for so long?
A: The lactobacillus create a very acidic environment which helps the yeast to thrive, however is inhospitable to other organisms so, yes, it is safe.
Q: Do you have to feed the starter twice a day every day? Seems like a lot.
A: It’s my understanding that you can put your starter in the fridge to slow down the growth necessitating only one feeding per week. I put mine in the fridge for the first time this week, as we aren’t home. I haven’t yet seen the outcome.
Q: What if I leave town? Do I have to pack up my starter, flour, etc.?
A: I recently read that you can spread your starter on a silicone mat and allow it to dry. Once dried, you can break it up into small pieces and store it in an air-tight container for months! To re-activate, dissolve 1/4 cup of the dried pieces in 1/2 cup of distilled water and add 1/2 cup of flour, then continue to feed the starter until it is active again. I just closed mine and placed in the fridge until I arrived back home. This method is good for about a week. Just be sure to feed your starter as soon as you get home and continue feeding it daily or twice a day to re-activate the yeast and lactobacillus.pub-4561044891259873, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0