I used to be quite passive when it came to sourdough bread and think it was too complicated, that there was no big difference between sourdough and yeast. Until I looked into it and I understood how damaging eating too much yeast can be. Don't get me wrong, I haven't stopped eating yeast completely, it's just the fact that eating commercial yeast every day has a great impact on the digestive tract.
So, I started reading about this and it's not that complicated after all. What you need is patience, whole rye flour (which you can find in organic and online shops) and 2-3 minutes each day for 4 days to make the first starter. After that it gets easier and easier. You will also see the bread recipes I like - if you want simple homemade bread for you family.
We use whole rye flour for the sourdough starter because it lasts for a long time and it's the best to develop natural yeast. From this rye sourdough you can make wheat sourdough as well and we will talk about it some other time.
See the steps, at the last one, you save 100g sourdough to keep in the fridge and use each time you want to make bread again. You do all the steps only the first time, when you make the starter from scratch, then you just refresh it.
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- In a bowl (about 2l), combine 50g rye flour with 60ml water.
You will have a cream-like thick mixture. If it's either too dry or too runny, add a little more water or flour in order to reach the right consistency.
Loosely cover the bowl with a lid - it's important not to seal it too tightly - leave some space.
If you cover in plastic wrap, make a crack in it so that the starter can 'breathe'.
Allow to ferment for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Add 50g flour and 60ml water to yesterday's mixture, stir well, cover and let ferment for another 24 hours.
- Stir in again 50g flour + 60ml water, cover and let sit for 24 hours.
Notice how the mixture is beginning to form air bubbles, it's starting to work.
- for the last time, add 50g flour + 60ml water - mix and leave, semi-uncovered, for 24 hours.
- Place about 50-100g of this starter in a jar or a container and keep in the fridge. This will be the 'natural, organic yeast' which you will use and refresh every time you make bread. I will call it 'Starter'.
Use the rest of the mixture to make your first sourdough bread. The recipes for how to refresh a sourdough starter and for the first sourdough bread are coming up next. The first time it's usually ok to add a bit of yeast to help the starter grow, as it's not so strong yet. But later it will gain strength and it won't need it anymore.
It's not complicated at all, all you need is patience and will :)
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