8 Reasons To Make Your Own Sourdough
Alongside green beauty, I'm also passionate about health and wellbeing over all, and food to me is a huge part of this. I've been eating a wholefood diet for several years now, which started with removing refined sugar around 9 years ago. "Wholefood" is basically any food it it's most unadulterated form, unprocessed, unrefined and natural.
This includes whole grain flours (freshly ground from the grain), unrefined sugars (raw honey, rapadura, rice malt or maple syrup), whole dairy (that is certified organic, biodynamic or home-grown and raw) and free-range, pasture-raised meat.
Today I have Sarah from Say Little Hen here to share with you 8 reasons to make your own sourdough - and it's not as complicated as you might think! Sarah also has an E-book, Spelt Sourdough Made Simple which has been especially created for whole-grain spelt (or whole grain wheat) flours. If you want to give making sourdough a whirl, I highly recommend you pop over and check out the e-book!
Until December 26th, you can use code LIBERTYGREEN to save 10% off your purchase of Spelt Sourdough Made Simple.
At this busy time of year I find it very grounding to immerse myself into the ritual of making sourdough. As the world rushes on by, sourdough continues to bubble away, doing what it has done for centuries uncounted - turn flour, water and a little salt into the most delicious bread you'll ever taste.
Getting started with sourdough is as easy as 1, 2, 3 - the 1 being add flour to a bowl, 2 adding water and 3 stirring it all together. Nature takes over and does the rest. You're on your way to having a living, bubbling sourdough starter which is the doorway to many wonderful things. There's bread, pancakes, biscuits, muffins, cakes - and even doughnuts and pastries.
But, during this busy time of year, who has time to bake their own bread? You do, in fact. We all do.
That bread is time consuming and kneading something to be avoided are two common myths that must have been created by someone who had never baked a loaf of bread in their life. True, sourdough can take many hours to make. But all of that time is spent by the bread, not you.
You don't have to be a breadsitter - it's really quite capable of managing on it's own. It's been doing it for centuries, remember?
I fell in love with sourdough baking because of it's simplicity, flavour and the wonderful rhythm of creating it. Mixing ingredients together to later return and find it risen into a beautiful dough - on nothing more than flour and water - is magical. Kneading the dough is relaxing, and getting the loaf out of the oven is exciting. Baking your own artisan bread doesn't have to be complicated, time consuming or stressful. With simple recipes and basic techniques, it's really very easy and so very enjoyable and rewarding to make your own bread.
In my experience, sourdough is far more flexible and forgiving than yeasted bread. It's ridiculously easy to change up your bread baking routine to suit whatever is happening your life at the time.
Some other reasons you might like to give sourdough baking a go:
You have access to fresh bread whenever you want it
Sourdough would have to be the healthiest of all bread. Grains naturally contain phytic acid, which stops your body being able to absorb most of the vitamins and minerals contained in the flour. The beneficial bacteria in sourdough starter breaks down phytic acid, making the nutrients in the flour available to your body.
Along with breaking down phytic acid, sourdough also breaks down gluten into amino acid, making it easier to digest, which is why many people say they feel better eating sourdough rather than bread made with commercial yeast.
Sourdough also produces lactic acid (which predigests the grain for you) and "eats" a lot of the sugar present in the grain.
Overall sourdough actually makes the nutrients in grains and seeds available to your body, making it obviously more nutritious, satisfying and beneficial
Making your own is far cheaper than buying properly made sourdough from the store or local bakery, particularly when you're using grains such as organic spelt. Plus you also know that it was properly fermented, allowing your body to access all of the benefits outlined above
By changing proving schedules you can control how "sour" your sourdough actually is
I've heard many people say that they can happily eat sourdough, particularly spelt sourdough, without any negative side effects, when processed breads and yeasted products would disagree with them. Many people with gluten sensitivities (not allergies) have also said that they are able to eat and enjoy sourdough.
When I started making sourdough, I'd already been making my own bread for years, using commercial yeast. I never, ever imagined that I would fall in love with sourdough baking so much that I would completely change to making sourdough bread only.
Making sourdough is highly addictive and so rewarding. Are you ready to give it a go? I think you'll love it.
About the Author
My name is Sarah - I'm an Australian blogger with a love for wholefood baking, knitting and spending as much time outside in nature as possible.
Say Little Hen is where I share my personal experiences of living on a small farm on the tablelands of Queensland, with my beloved Border Collies, two milking cows and large flock of chickens. More often than not you'll find me in muddy jeans with a collie by my side in the veggie garden or out in the paddocks. From baking everything from scratch, to trying to live as organically and sustainably as possible on a realistic budget and finding the time for creativity, this is my life on Say! Little Hen.