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Sourdough – All That Is Good in Bread

 Sourdough bread has all we would like in bread and is unlike any other kind. Its special taste is only second to the variety of health benefits it has to offer. In this article, you’ll find all you need to know about sourdough, from how to prepare its starter to interesting recipes that will liven up your family meals and make them much healthier.

sourdough
 

Why sourdough?

The yeast you buy at the store is very convenient and easy to bake with, but because it emits a large amount of gas it makes the grain much less healthy. In sourdough, there are two types of organisms - natural yeast and good bacteria. Together they make the bread healthier, easier to digest and more resistant to mold. The acids in the dough make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body. In addition, the acids slow the rate at which glucose is released into the bloodstream, making sure there are no jumps in insulin levels in the body.

What's going on inside sourdough?

When preparing a loaf of bread, it can be seen as a sort of yeast and bacterial colony. The sour taste of sourdough bread comes from acids created by the colony. When the taste becomes very strong, it does not mean that they are working energetically, but rather that they are in retreat, and that the colony has eaten all its food and is collapsing.

sourdough

What do you need to prepare sourdough bread?

Flour -  You can use any grain, however, if you want to make a full and stable loaf, wheat is the right choice, because only wheat has enough gluten to create large air bubbles. White flour isn’t a great choice because even though the outside the bread will look beautiful and full, it will be lacking in nutrients. A combination of white flour and whole wheat flour is recommended for sourdough bread, allowing for a beautiful loaf chock full of nutrients.

Water - It is best to use filtered water when possible. The chlorine can be removed from water by leaving it in an open container for one day.

Glass jar - Select a jar with as big of an opening as possible. Glass is recommended for working with sourdough, but if you can’t find something that would work, you can also use a ceramic or wood container. Do not use plastic or metal, as they expand with the emitted acids.

Bowls, a casserole pot, and an oven – depending on the quantity you want to prepare, you can use bowls, mixing and serving tools made of stainless steel.

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How to prepare sourdough starter

Day 1: Mix 50 grams of flour (only white or whole wheat) and 50 ml of water (after removing the chlorine) in a glass jar with a closed but loose lid to allow more yeast (from the air) to enter. Mix well, leave the jar in a warm, high place so that nothing else falls into it.

Now there’s a competition going on between the good little creatures and bad little creatures who want to control the mixture in a jar. If the good bacteria win, you will smell a sour smell, and probably see a layer of brown liquid at the top, that doesn’t look rotten or moldy. If you see mold, it is probably because you used non-quality flour or water that wasn’t well filtered, or you placed the jar in a place that is too cold.

If you aren’t successful, there are some tips that might help you help you. Rye flour is much easier to rise with yeast. The jar should be placed in a warm place, but not warmer than body temperature. Another trick is to add a little of your saliva inside (however, make sure not to share that you've used this trick, it's not so appetizing).

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Day 2: Add 100 grams of flour with 100 ml of water, stir well and cover the jar again, try to mix the mixture twice a day.

When you add flour and water (in terms of order it is better to first add the water and then the flour), you will have to learn through trial and error how thick the mixture should be. Some types of flour become thicker after they absorb water, and some are easily diluted. If you need to use a spoon to remove the mixture for mixing, it is too thick. If a layer of water is formed above it, the mixture is too thin. You only have to fill the jar up to two-thirds to give it room.

Day 3: Mix the mixture three times a day.

Day 4: Add 200 grams of flour and 200 ml of water to the bowl, stir the mixture and cover again, and stir twice more during the day.

Day 5: Mix three times during the day.

Day 6: The remaining mixture is ready and you can prepare bread or any other baked goods (recipes below).

Tip: If too much time passes between preparing the starter and baking, the mixture can become flat or go bad.

Recipes

Sourdough bread

sourdough

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 30 g coarse salt
 

Preparation

1. Mix the flour with the starter and water until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

2. Add the salt and put in a mixer for 5-7 minutes, then knead for another 10 minutes until the dough is elastic.

3. Cover the dough and let it sit for the first rise for 6-8 hours (you can also place it in the fridge overnight).

4. Divide the dough into two pieces and make them into loaves. Allow them to rise for another 5-6 hours at room temperature.

5. Heat the oven to 220 degrees. Using a sharp razor, mark the loaf so that it has an easier time rising.

6. Place the dough into the oven with a stainless steel bowl filled with water on the bottom rack. This will allow the oven to fill up with steam making for a crunchier crust.

7. After 10 minutes remove the water bowl and lower the temperature to 190 degrees. Continue baking for another 20-30 minutes.

Sourdough tortilla 

sourdough

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter/coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ½ cup of starter
  • ½ cup milk or water
  • A little ginger

Preparation

1. In a medium bowl mix the starter, milk, salt, ginger, and butter.

2. Slowly add flour and as needed, the amount of flour you need may vary depending on the type of flour you are using.

3. When the dough is thick and no longer wet, turn it and knead for 2-3 minutes.

4. Let the dough rest at room temperature overnight.

5. Heat a pan to over a medium heat. Separate the dough into 6-8 pieces, depending on how big you want your tortillas. If the dough is stiff, add some oil. Make thin circles and place in the pan.

6. Fry for 15-40 seconds each side. You will know that it is ready when bubbles appear and the edges become stiff.

7. The tortillas are ready. They can be placed in a plastic bag and stored in a refrigerator or freezer.

 Sourdough pizza

sourdough

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of starter
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 260 degrees.

2. Mix the starter, a teaspoon of oil, salt, and the flour. Add the flour slowly to make sure the dough comes out uniform.

3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Make a round shape of the dough. Use a little flour to prevent sticking, as needed.

4. Bake the dough for about 7 minutes.

5. Remove the dough from the oven and brush the remaining oil over it to 6. prevent the toppings from sticking to it.

7. Add the toppings and bake the pizza until the dough is browned and the cheese is melted.

image source: Shawn HokearbyreedN i c o l ajeffreywChiot's RunJim Champion
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