Sourdough: An Easy Step-By-Step Guide

Sourdough-Easy-Guide

Sourdough bread is a traditional way to bake bread that is made by fermentation of dough using wild yeast.

To prepare this recipe for sourdough starter, you will need water and flour, that’s it! 

And some patience too.

Sourdough Health Benefits:

  • We can absorb the minerals found in sourdough bread more easily, because of the fermentation process that reduces the amounts of phytic acid. [1]
    Phytic acid is a unique natural substance found in plant seeds that have a strong binding affinity to the dietary minerals, and in this way, it reduces the absorption of the minerals in whole-wheat bread.
    This phytic acid binds with minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc and reduces their availability. 
    The process of making Sourdough makes these essential nutrients more bioavailable to us.
  • Sourdough bread causes less spiking the blood sugar levels than regular bread. [2]
    That makes it beneficial for those with low energy levels. When blood sugar levels are stable, it keeps the energy levels and mood throughout the day balanced and prevents cravings.
  • The fermentation relies on “wild yeast” and lactic acid bacteria that are naturally present in flour to leaven the bread. The sourdough provides the benefits of probiotics (during its fermentation process, but they are not present in the bread when baked) and prebiotics (found in the bread).

AN STEP-BY-STEP EASY GUIDE

Sourdough Starter

Ingredients 

A method to build a starter without discarding part of the dough

  • 1 spoon of whole grain flour
  • 2 spoon warm filtered or mineral water

Method

  1. Sterilize a glass jar- wash thoroughly with warm soapy water, then pour into the jar boiling water to sterilize, rinse and let dry.
  2. Build the starter – the mother sourdough. In a clean sterilized jar build your starter: mix 1 spoon of whole grain flour and 2 spoons of warm filtered or mineral water (I used a wooden spoon as a measurement). 
  3. Mix well. Cover with a lid but not too tightly and revisit your starter the next day. Keep the starter in a warm place. I kept it on the kitchen counter.
  4. Repeat the previous step for five days. You know if the starter is ready when there are bubbles, and if it smells good. It is now ready to be used in baking!
  5. Every time you want to bake bread add an equal amount of water and whole grain flour and let the starter to create bubbles. I use 20g water and 20g flour. 
  6. If you keep the sourdough in the fridge for a few days without baking you may need to discard some part from your starter in order to create good fermentation. You can use the starter part you discard in other recipes that contain flour and liquid.

Recipe Notes

  • During the first 3 days, the sourdough smells a little acidic. 
  • This smell is a good indicator that the starter is working. 
  • From day 5 and onwards, the sourdough aroma is pleasant and reminds of fresh bread.
  • The starter needs to be smooth like a pancake batter. 
  • If the starter is too watery, add more flour. If there is too much flour add some more water.

Whole Grain Sourdough

Ingredients 

  • 400g of strong wholegrain bread flour- I recommend to use organic.
  • 100g or of starter
  • 340g filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt (or any other salt you have)

Method-

I recommend making dough in the evening and bake in the morning

  1. First starting by mixing water and starter.
  2. Add the flour, and mix well. Let the dough rest for about half an hour.
  3. After about half an hour add salt, wet your hand and knead the dough to form a ball (if your hands are wet the dough will not be sticky at all). 
  4. After another hour in the bowl, you can start to do the “folding“: wet your hands again and fold the dough to create an envelope shape from all four corners.
    *Optional: if you have time you can repeat the folding phase. Usually, recipes recommend to do this four times; I do the folding step only once.
  5. Cover with a tea towel, and let it rest overnight in the fridge or until double its size.
  6. Shape the dough into a shape of a ball.
  7. Transfer the dough to an oven-safe pan, place it on top of a baking paper.
  8. Dust the dough with flour and cover. Leave to prove for 1-2 hours until it doubled its size.
  9. Bake in an oven at 200 degrees celsius for 55 minutes.
  10. When the bread is ready, it needs to sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. 
  11. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  12. Done. 🙂 
  13. Enjoy the freshly baked bread and keep growing your sourdough and enjoy good quality homemade bread.

Try also this delicious recipe for yeast-free soda bread.

  1.  “Making Bread With Sourdough Improves Mineral … – PubMed.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12781853/.
  2.  “Sourdough-leavened Bread Improves Postprandial Glucose ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18317680/.

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