Have you ever made sourdough bread from scratch? It is one of the most ancient and traditional ways to make leavened bread naturally without the aid of “instant rise yeast”.
Some people have been researching the link between gluten intolerance/gluten allergies and the pre-packaged instant yeast that is used in most store-bought and even many home-made breads today. The human body has a much easier time digesting and processing bread when it’s made using fresh, natural and quality ingredients, and using ancient techniques that have been around for ever. Why try to change something that we have been doing for millenniums and it works? The side effect of cutting corners and taking nature out of the process has resulted in a society with a lot of gut issues.
I strongly believe in sticking as close to nature as I can. My philosophy is: If it isn’t natural, then it probably isn’t good for you. However, living in such a modern and advanced society, It is very challenging to live a completely natural life all the time . But, human bodies don’t change. We still need the same nutrients that we’ve always needed. Our bodies still need to break down foods the proper way. Now with the rise of processed and commercial driven foods, we have noticed a rise in health issues. The evidence points to what seems to be a negative affect from using commercial yeast to cut down on time and speed up production rates.
This knowledge has resulted in me trying to do what I can to minimize the use of pre packaged and artificial foods. I want to eat things that nourish my body. I find it is extremely fulfilling to make foods from scratch and I love using my hands to make good food to feed my family. It tastes better. I feel better. There is also something very special about using ancient techniques and recipes that have proven tried and true over using store-bought that isn’t so true or natural. I also thinks it’s important to keep these traditions alive. We must not forget how to work with our hands and take time to learn to feed ourselves really good food. Our bodies were not made to consume foods that are not of the earth and that don’t decompose.
I highly recommend taking a moment to check out this link for more history on sourdough, and also, this inspiring and educational video on the Secrets of sourdough.
Before you can make sourdough bread you have to make a “starter” aka “mother” culture. This is a natural way of making a yeast to use in your bread recipes. You only need 2 main ingredients, 2-3 days and nature does most of the work for you. Making the starter takes a lot of time but, not constant labor. It just needs time to grow and ferment. The starter is a living yeast that has to be fed and maintained. Every step is absolutely worth it for fresh homemade sourdough.
I have never made a starter or sourdough bread from scratch. The first time making anything usually has a learning curve. It doesn’t always come out right , especially with baking. You get to see where you made mistakes and how to correct them and the second time things work a lot smoother. So we will see how things go for this first batch. I can’t wait to make a successful loaf of sourdough. I love sourdough bread. I’ll let you know how she turns out and hopefully make a post real soon about actually baking a successful loaf of sourdough.
The first picture was right after I started the starter. The middle is 24 hours after and this last picture is how my starter looked after only 36 hours. You can see how the bubbles are starting to form and you can actually see the starter breathing and growing.
It’s really cool to know that I made this living thing. This starter is actually alive and will die if it isn’t properly fed. I could pass this on to my kids and them to their kids. People have starters that are centuries old – that came from their ancestors. There is actually a piece of their history and heritage in every bite of bread they make with that starter. How awesome is that?
I have seen several different recipes and mildly different techniques for making sourdough starter. All you really need to make your starter is flour and water. Nature does the rest. I followed the recipe from Steve the Bread Guy. He does a great job of explaining the process and you can watch his youtube video tutorial on making a sourdough starter. I liked his recipe and his video. It is a lot easier to learn the process by watching someone do it, rather than trying to read about it. Maybe when I get good at making sourdough, I will make my own video tutorial. Until then . . .
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out and what your experience was like.
Here is (hopefully) a helpful infographic from Pinterest
Happy sourdough starter-making.