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I love real sourdough bread but I have always bought it and never
dared to make it myself. Philippe Le Toquin
(https://plus.google.com/+PhilippeLeToquin/posts, http://twitter.com/GoodOldBread) makes some really amazing bread and I decided to give it
It turns out to be really easy. As with any fermentation process one
just needs a bit of patience and time.
The yeasts and the lactobacilli bacteria needed for this process are naturally
on the grains and in the air around us. You don't need any kit or commercial sourdough starter.
You need organic whole grain flour (unbleached wheat flour, no baking soda
or vitamins added) and chlorine free water. If you have trouble finding
flour that is not messed-up then just buy organic wheat grains and grind
a hand full with a coffee grinder. Chlorine free water can be obtained
by boiling tap water and letting it cool down over night or by using
a water filter (Brita filter).
- Mix equal volumes of water and organic whole grain flour. In total you want about 100-200ml to start with. Store this
mixture at room temperature in a container with a lid. The lid must however
not be air tight. The fermentation process will produce gases and they
must be able to escape.
- After a day, feed the original starter again with same mixture: Flour (the same type originally used) and chlorine free water. This time use less water. The mixture should have the consistency of a pancake dough.
- Wait another day, and feed it again. By now you should see some bubbles and it should start to smell. If not, don't worry, just continue.
- On day four you should see nice bubbles coming. Expect the mixture to feel a little more liquid and looser. The starter is ready for making bread but you can continue if you feel that the bubbles are still small.
Sourdough starter on day 3
Take 90% of the sourdough starter mixture to make the bread and use the rest
to maintain the starter. Keep feeding the starter to make more bread in future.
You can store the starter mixture now in the fridge. This will slow down
the fermentation process and at fridge temperature it's enough if you feed it once a week.
Baking sourdough bread
Use the sourdough starter mixture (keep a small portion aside for future
use) and add more flour, some water and a little bit of salt to make
a nice dough. You could add other grains too (Rye flower, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ...).
Adding more flower to make sourdough bread dough
Shape it like a bead loaf and store it in a cool place for twenty-four hours (the vegetable compartment of your fridge is OK). You will notice
that the loaf increases a bit in size. It's now ready for baking.
Good sourdough bread tastes great and keeps much longer than bread made
with yeast from the supermarket. It takes time but it is fun too
and it is a much healthier alternative. The fermentation process
involved in sourdough produces a bread that is easy to digest for
the human body.
Some people think that all those gluten and food allergies are
linked to the assembly line production of fluffy bread in factories. It has resulted
in food that is really not good for our digestion.
Check the label on your supermarket bread. It contains all kind of
additives and preservatives. This home made sourdough bread contains
just water, flour some salt and lots of time. It tastes great.
Rye flour makes really nice bread. Just
replace all or a portion of the wheat flour by rye flour.
When you make your own bread then you might as well try something
more exotic. Try combinations that one can not buy in a supermarket. Here is a
dark rye and sauerkraut bread. Not for everybody but very nice with
Rye sauerkraut bread
© 2004-2023 Guido Socher