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The Mother of Sourdoughs

Beginning the Sourdough Journey

Day 4 – Creating a Sourdough Starter

After being late with the P.M. feeding of my starter last night, I was a little concerned that it may not be fermented enough by the time the morning feed was due, but comments from supportive fellow bloggers and my Sourdough mentors, Peggy, Sandy and Chris, relaxed me about the process.

A Forgiving Dough

Mary from Mary’s Nest Sourdough website, states that you can change/swap or alter your sourdough starter as you go along, from white to rye, or wholewheat. What flexibility! [Happy Dance]

I started this process using a mix with half whole wheat flour and half white flour, as this is the mix most of my family and me, prefer. This excludes the fastidious Moth, of course. He is a committed, refined-bleached- white flour man, who likes his bread ultra-fresh and soft as a baby’s bottom. That is a bad comparative metaphor for bread, but you get my drift.

So Day 4 Dawns, and I feed this mother of all sourdough mixes.

Some exponents, including Sandy, prefer using equal parts flour and water, by weight in their starter mix, and I might still do that. I guess I can change it up as I go along, with this ultra-flexible sourdough mix.

After all, as Chris pointed out in a previous comment, people have been making bread this way for millennia, and most likely didn’t have clocks, timers or accurate scales to measure ingredients.

More tomorrow from the Home by the Sea.

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Day 2 Sourdough Benefits

As nothing much is happening on Day 2 apart from stirring the sourdough. The little yeast organisms can does their job fermenting on the benchtop.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share some abridged snippets of useful information.

Preservative and Chemical Free Bread

Sourdough is free from other types of breads that have oils, sugar, preservatives, and other chemicals in their ingredient list.

Besides affecting the flavour of the bread, chemicals and additional ingredients are often added to other breads because they can’t stay fresh as long as sourdough can or fend off mould as well. The presence of bacteria, due to sourdough’s unique fermentation process, improves sourdough’s nutritional profile. This allows for better nutrient absorption, improved gut health, and some studies have even shown fermentation alters the structure of carbohydrates in the dough for better blood sugar control and a lower score on the glycemic index.

Bread for Gut Health

Sourdough’s fermentation means it is gentler on our digestive tract and may be tolerated by those with a sensitive tummy. This is possibly attributed to the breaking down of a carbohydrate in wheat called fructans which can mimic gluten intolerances. Phytic acid, also present in bread and wheat products, causes digestive issues and sourdough bread neutralizes the effect of phytic acid on the body.

The long fermentation process involved in making sourdough has shown to improve digestion of gluten-forming proteins, known for causing wheat intolerances and allergies. Research has also shown the presence of fructans, a carbohydrate found in wheat, causes digestive issues similar to gluten intolerances and are now thought to be the cause of many self-diagnosed “gluten intolerances.” However, sourdough fermentation breaks down fructans, making them easier on the digestive system.

As varieties of wheat have changed over the years, it is possible the changes in composition of the grains, may be the reason some people assume they are gluten intolerant.

Shortcut to Making Your Own Sourdough

This Whole-Wheat Bread recipe recipe only takes 12 hours, compared to almost a week. Probiotic-rich yogurt and vinegar mimic the tangy flavor of sourdough without the need for a starter.

Sourdough requires very little in the way of ingredients and have many health benefits.

Variations to Sourdough Starter Mix

I used a blend of half wholewheat flour and half white flour.

Do you add salt to your sourdough starter?

What flour do you use?

Whole wheat, white, rye or a blend?

More updates on my starter on Day 3.