Pantry Revamp: Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is a fermented food.  I’m just beginning to learn about fermented foods and their health benefits.  From everything I’ve read, I can only improve my health by adding more of them to my diet.

I am no scientist, but this what I’ve gathered so far. Sourdough bread lasts longer than typical bread.  It pre-digests starches, which makes it easier for US to digest.  It also breaks down gluten, which can make it easier on gluten intolerant people. The lactic acid fermentation that takes place during the production of sourdough bread increases the nutrients that are available for our body to absorb.  If you want to read some great articles about why sourdough is good for you, here are two:

Kitchen Stewardship:  Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread

Real Food Forager:  5 Reasons to make Sourdough Your Only Bread

My mom recently started making sourdough and asked me if I was interested in some of her extra starter so that I could make my own.  I said absolutely!

1. Saratoga Jacks Sourdough Live Starter

You will get a package with 1 teaspoon of sourdough starter from Saratoga Jacks. It comes with instructions on how to feed your starter and how long you should wait to begin making bread with your starter.

2. Original San Francisco Sourdough Culture

You will receive a 1 ounce package of dried sourdough from Ed Wood. Printed instructions are included.

3. Sorghum Gluten Free Sourdough Starter Culture, Bread Yeast Sourdough Culture

Even if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you can still enjoy the benefits of sourdough bread. You get 1 teaspoon of dehydrated sorghum sourdough starter from Positively Probiotic. Activation instructions are on their website.

4. French Sourdough Starter 4 oz.

You get 4 ounces of dry sourdough starter from Nichols Garden Nursery. Instructions

*** Please note:  Before Saturday I had never done anything with Sourdough before.  Sure, I’ve made bread, but never sourdough.  If you see me doing something wrong in this post or see something I could do better, PLEASE tell me.  Thanks in advance.  ***

Here is a link to the first recipe that I tried:   Extra-Tangy Sourdough Bread. I’ve rewritten the instructions some.

Begin by putting the sourdough starter into the bowl.

Add 1 ½ cups of lukewarm water and three cups of flour. Beat the mixture vigorously for about 1 minutes. Cover it and let it rest at room temperature for at least 4 hours. After resting at room temperature, place the bowl into the refrigerator overnight or for about 12 hours.

Add the salt and remaining flour to the mixture and then knead the mixture to form a smooth dough.

Allow the dough to ruse in a covered bowl until it is light and airy. There will be visible gas bubbles. This may take 5 hours or longer. Deflate the dough once an hour and turn it on a lightly floured surface.

Divide the dough into two halves and shape them. Grease plastic wrap and cover the loaves with it. Allow it to rise for 2 to 4 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray the loaves with lukewarm water. Next slash the loves – either one slash down the center or several slashes. Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack.

After the bread has thoroughly cooled, you can store it in loosely wrapped plastic at room temperature for several days. You can also freeze it if you need to store it for longer.

Do you make sourdough bread?  What are your favorite recipes?