High quality sourdough bread is made from a sourdough starter culture and has undergone a long fermentation process. This makes it easier to digest. Studies have also shown that sourdough breads keep blood sugar levels more stable than other types of bread.
The commercial yeast is an artificially isolated form of yeast that makes dough rise without breaking down the anti-nutrient phytic acid and the gluten in it to make them harmless. This means that the commercial yeast hinders digestion and robs our body off important nutrients. Beware that bread whose label says “sourdough” may be made with commercial yeast as the main rising agent or as the additional one.
How can you make your own natural yeast and make sure that you eat healthy bread?
These are the materials you need for preparing a sourdough starter:
· A wide-mouth jar because it makes stirring the starter easier
· Cheesecloth for covering the jar – it keeps any fruit flies away from it and at the same time allows air into the jar
· Water - spring or filtered water is what you have to use, since the chlorine in tap water kills the good bacteria the starter needs
· Organic, unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (some people dislike the flavor of the starter when made with whole wheat flour but you can give it a try and see for yourselves)
The necessary steps for making the sourdough starter:
Day 1: Put 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water into the jar. Mix them well together. The mixture needs to be like a thick pancake batter. After you’ve mixed the flour and water, cover the jar with cheese cloth.
Day 2: Feed the starter by adding to it another 1/2 cup of flour and as much water as it needs in order to get the same thick batter consistency as on the first day. Stir and cover again.
Day 3: Feed again in the same way like on Day 2, stir, and cover again.
Day 4 and following: Keep feeding the starter about every 24 hours. By the fourth day it may be ready to be used for bread making. It depends on the climate of your region, the temperature inside your home, and the type of starter you have because every region has its own unique strains of bacteria, which means that starters in different areas might act differently.
When you don’t plan to bake in the next several days:
· You can put the jar in the fridge. Bear in mind that yeast stored in the fridge will become dormant and yeast stored at room temperature will become active.
· Feed your starter once a week. Feeding means measuring the amount of yeast you have in your jar in the fridge, and then adding equal parts water and whole wheat flour. For example, if there’s 1 cup of yeast, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour.
· If you have too much yeast in the jar, you can give some of it to friends or measure out 1/4 cups, throw the rest away, then add 1/4 cups water and 1/4 cups flour to your 1/4 cups yeast.
If I want to make bread, then one or two days before you bake, take the yeast out from the fridge and feed it 3 times a day at room temperature to activate it.