sourdough starter

Creating an ?Active? Sourdough Starter : For all your baked goods including bread, sweet loafs, buns, muffins and more.

Several months ago I started my journey with sourdough baking. Being the owner and instructor of the “Funky Fermentation” culinary classes, my goal is to create healthy probiotic foods and drinks that taste amazing.

I’ve made bread in the past with store bought yeast and been very successful. The benefits of a wild sourdough starter, where the leavening comes from the air and the grain, make sourdough baking very inspiring and gives it a very unique flavour. The yeasts are much more varied (in healthy lactobacilli bacteria) and less concentrated than baker?s yeast, so they raise the dough more slowly.

It’s how my stomach feels after eating sourdough bread or a baked good that makes the difference. I don’t feel bloated or overly full. Store bought bread can be nutritious in theory but the contents pass straight through the body without being absorbed. Several hours of fermentation with sourdough is sufficient to neutralize phytic acid and make the minerals more bio-available and the bread much easier to digest.

It took me quite a few times to successfully make a sourdough starter. They never seem to captured any of the bacteria in the air or I never saw any bubbles that are signs of the bacteria and fermentation.

One thing I learned is to be patient and keep trying. What I found worked was feeding my starter twice a day and stirring it once in-between feedings. I always keep my starters in a warm spot in the kitchen. I use organic whole grain flours, a whole wheat, a rye, and next I’ll try a spelt. I also use distilled water never tap water.

Now I’ve developed a starters thumb. It seems so strange that I had so much difficulty at the beginning. And now I’ve made several loaves of bread that are easy-to-digest, light, well-risen and 100% whole grain. Also baked goods like my sourdough banana bread are so healthy and so delicious!!

Here is how to make a sourdough starter: you only need two ingredients “flour and water”

You start 5 days before you want to make sourdough bread. Best to start in evening and then you can bake 5 days later in the morning.

Day 1:

In a glass jar add 1/2 cup of flour or 50 g flour with 1/2 cup of water 50 g (not tap water). I used an organic whole wheat flour with distilled water.

Stir really well, scraping sides. Once really combined and smooth, cover with some cheese cloth and elastic band and place on counter in kitchen. (I wrap a small tea towel around the bottle for warmth.) in a warm spot. 65-75 F 20 C.

(Leave for 24 hours)

Day 2:

24 hours later, add another 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup warm water and stir really well. Then give it a good stir in between the next 12 hour feeding.

So now you are feeding the starter every 12 hours with 1/4 cup feedings of flour and water and a stir in between feedings for 5 days in total.

You will be looking for your starter to start bubbling and that can happen anywhere from 8 hours to 3 days, that means your starter is capturing the bacteria and turning it into wild yeast.

It does well when there is a lot of activity going on around it like cooking or juice and I may leave some organic apple close to it to pick up on.

Day 5:

if it’s ready, by dropping 1 tsp of the starter in a cup of water it should float at the top. If not it’s not ready.

You can use your sourdough on day 5 (6 hours after feeding, or up to 24 hours).

Always keep at least 1/4 cup of the starter in fridge and give it a feeding every 7 days.

About Janet Zdichavsky

About Janet Toronto Nutritionist Registered with I.O.N.C. and an Associated Member of Natural Medicine Council Janet provides nutrition counselling for all your health concerns, whether due to diabetes, food allergies, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma and the list extends much more, or weight /fat issues, sports nutrition, tranforming to vegetarian or just wanting to learn how to eat proper balanced meals. Janet is highly educated and experienced in the field of nutrition, natural medicine associate, healthy lifestyle, personal training background, excels with a proven weight loss/anti-aging program and has helped thousands in the GTA for over 10 years.
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