Every wonder how Sourdough bread gets its distinctly sour taste? As it turns out, Sourdough bread gets its unique flavor through a process called fermentation, just like beer and kombucha does. Sourdough dough is made using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast, and its super simple to make your own Sourdough starter at home.
Sourdough “starter” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s what you will use to begin making a Sourdough recipe, whether that’s bread, English muffins, pizza dough, or pancakes. There are many possibilities using this Sourdough starter, and this process is simple, healthy and delicious. Below are a few simple reasons why you should make this simple Sourdough starter and steps on how to do it yourself.
- Not all bread is created equal
The unique thing about sourdough bread is that every loaf will taste different than the last, and every place in the world will have a different flavor and texture. The reason for this is because sourdough bread collects wild yeast and bacteria from the air to create the dough, sounds totally gross but it’s actually amazing. The Starter will actually “catch” what’s in the air, and through a process of fermentation, will grow and use good bacteria to kill the bad bacteria.
- Sourdough bread is easier to digest
The bacteria-yeast relationship in the sourdough means that the starches in the grains are being broken down before you even consume the Sourdough. Sourdough also contains bacteria called Lactobacillus which is a type of lactic acid which is essential for the fermentation of the sourdough. This is helpful to consume because beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, and probiotics that result.
- Sourdough is low maintenance, forever
Because sourdough naturally preserves itself, you don’t have to worry about the starter going “bad”, you simply have to feed it when you want to use it (see directions below) and keep it in the fridge when you’re not. Not to mention, Sourdough bread can last literally forever, and if you pass it down to your kids, they can bake the same bread you did, long after you’re gone. Talk about a family tradition.
- Sourdough is good for you bread.
Saw whaaaa?! Yup, it’s true. You finally have an argument for all the carb-haters of the world. Truth is, moderation is key. You can’t scrap the veggies and lettuce in your diet and only eat bread, but because Sourdough is fermented and will be made fresh in your kitchen instead of sitting on a shelf for weeks, your Sourdough will many more vitamins and good bacteria than regular bread has. Sourdough contains Vitamins B1-B6, B12, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. *Take a breathe” that’s a lot. Keep in mind, the amount of these vitamins and minerals vary depending upon the loaf, and some have more than others.
- Um…. It’s delicious.
Good enough reason, right? Ask any baker, foodie, or human being on the earth. Sourdough bread is light and airy and has a distinct taste. Sourdough bread making is an art that has been around for generations. Every bakers technique and experience with bread making will evolve and vary over time and from person to person. This variety is what makes it so unique and such an authentic experience.
How to Make Your Own Simple Sourdough Starter at Home:
Obtain a Sourdough starter. You can either get one already “started” from the store (sourdough started can be literally hundreds of years old), or make your own by mixing flour and water and leaving it on the counter.
Keep it in the fridge and simply “feed it” flour and water once a week. A few days before you’re ready to use it, remove it from the fridge and feed it flour (any kind you choose) and water 2-4 times before using in a recipe. Cover it with a dishtowel when on the counter and not in use.
Bake & enjoy! To use your Sourdough starter, simply follow the recipe you’re going for. Some recipes will have you add some fresh flour, and some recipes like delicious sourdough pancakes (recipe coming soon!) will have you just add a few ingredients to the mix.
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