The Art of Sourdough

So, here comes a long and dreadful article about sourdough….. NO! ……for those of you who are interested in this ancient way of baking breads, it will be like a fresh summer breeze… but still, it takes a little time and patience to get started with this way of making breads, and we need to understand why it’s good to use sourdough.

Sourdough is nothing new, it’s an ancient way of preparing grains. In those days they intuitively knew that grains was not a superfood for humans, but by treating them the right way they became digestible and were used as an accompaniment to other, more nutritious foods.

Sourdough is bread made from the natural occurring yeast and bacteria in flour.  The bacterias break down the gluten in the flour, and also neutralise antinutrients like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, so that the actual nutrition of the flour is more available for our bodies.

Many of us have sensitive bellies – so by making sourdough breads we help our bellies have an easier life 🙂

We have been making sourdough breads for the retreats in Dharma Mountain since this summer.

Making your own sourdough starter
To make sourdough bread you need to have a starter – a sourdough starter – this you can make yourself or you can get one from somebody who is already making sourdough breads.

It is a process to make your own starter but once you have made it, you have it, and can feed it and keep it alive, so you dont need to make a new one for every time you want to make breads.

To make your own starter takes about 4-5 days.

Day 1 : Mix together 100 g wholemeal coarse rye and 100 ml raisinwater.

Raisinwater you make by soaking a handfull of raisins in 200 ml cold water for about half an hour. Leave the mix in a glass jar with a lid on top, but don’t close the lid, let some air come through. Leave the glass at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 2 : Add 100 g fine spelt and 80-100 ml cold water to the mix from day 1 and leave it in a glass bowl, at room temperature, for one more day, covered with a linen towel or kitchen towel.

Day 3 : Add 100 g fine spelt and 80-100 ml cold water to the dough, let it sit another 24 hours. The dough will double in size during this time.

Day 4 : Divide the starter in two, throw away one part, and the other part you mix together with 200 g fine spelt and 150 ml cold water.  When this mix has bubbles and also has doubled in size, you have a sourdough starter ready. Now you can start to make breads, pancakes, waffles, cakes and so on….

To keep the starter alive you need to take care of it as it is an alive thing 😉 

To do that you need a clean glass with lid. And a spoon.

Take 2-4 tbsp starter and add to the glass – mix together with 1,5 dl coarse rye or spelt and 100 ml water – mix this with the spoon. The starter should be firm, not too loose and not too hard.

The starter can be stored in the fridge but then you need to feed it once a week or so. And when you want to use it, take it out from the fridge, feed it and leave it a few hours on the counter, until it starts to bubble, then you can start baking with it.

If you have it on the counter you need to feed it every second day.

It’s not only bread you can use your sourdough for – you can also make pancakes, waffles, cakes, crackers and so on……pizzas and pies too….

Sourdough Pancakes
5 dl fine spelt
2 tbsp sourdough starter
4 dl water
-mix these 3 ingredients together in a glass bowl, cover with kitchen towel and let ferment for 8-12 hours

Then you add:
4-6 eggs
100-150 gr melted butter
½ tsp salt
-mix it all together.

Fry thin pancakes on medium heat in a non-stick pan.

Serve with maple syrup, butter, honey or jam – or make sour pancakes with, for example, cheese and avocado, cream cheese and smoked salmon.

WakeUp_cover_Recipe_book_In our recipe book “Wake Up! Fresh morning recipes” you can find a very good sourdough bread recipe + much more. Next time you’re at Dharma, pick up a copy!

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