Although I’m handy in the kitchen, up until recently I’ve been put off of making sourdough bread, because it seemed like such a faff.
Oh how wrong I was, because it is actually ridiculously easy. Not only that but it tastes amazing, is super good for you, and costs next to nothing in comparison to it’s commercial counterparts. Seriously, what’s not to like?
In laymen’s terms, fermented food is better for you. The process of fermentation means that your body has much less work to do in order to digest the food, and it is easier on your gut as a result.
A simple starter is cultivated, and used in place of yeast, which is good news for those who are intolerant of it. Many people claim to be able to eat sourdough bread without getting bloated, but are unable to eat regular shop-bought bread because it causes digestive problems. I’m no expert, so here’s the Wikipedia page explaining the ins and outs, should you wish to read it.
Prepare to be blown away by how simple it is to make sourdough bread from scratch! Here’s a video clip of me explaining how to make the starter.
You will need
Strong white bread flour (organic if possible)
Strong wholemeal bread flour (organic if possible)
A 1l glass jar
A non stick loaf tin
A hot oven
Method to make your starter
- put a cup each of the white flour and water into your jar, and give it a good stir, you are aiming for yorkshire pudding batter consistency.
- leave it uncovered in your kitchen, or somewhere warm, and don’t put a lid on it, otherwise the natural yeasts won’t grow. This is a very important part of the process, and will make or break a sourdough starter.
- after about twelve hours, your starter should have come to life, and lots of little bubbles should have appeared. It’ll have also grown in size. If it’s not bubbly, give it a big stir to encourage them.
- check on your starter everyday, and feed it with a little bit of extra flour or water to maintain the correct consistency. You’ll be ready to start making bread on day three, but once established you can keep the starter going indefinitely.
Here’s another video clip of me making the bread.
Method to make your sourdough bread
- grease a loaf tin
- in a large bowl mix together one cup each of white flour, wholemeal flour, water and starter, along with a level tablespoon of good quality sea salt
- bring the mixture together into a large ball, with a wooden spoon or your hands
- place the ball in your tin or pot, cover with a lid or cling film. You’ll need to leave it to rise for twelve hours (or overnight)
- when you’re ready to bake the bread, cook for 45-50 mins in a pre-heated oven at 200C
- best enjoyed still warm, and slathered in butter