We are taking the next step in our journey to health and learning to eat food “as God intended”!
As we watch the health of our society steadily decline, it is becoming apparent to me that these amazing bodies that God designed are meant for better things. I believe 100% that the amazing immune system He gave us can’t be beat by any medicine out there if we treat it the way it was meant to be.
So to start off this series, I discussed the importance of gut health and what a big role that plays in our overall health. Next, I shared what I have learned about the “drinkable gold” we know as bone broth. And now we are moving into sourdough bread!
As I’ve said before, at least 75% of the information I’m sharing in these traditional food posts has come from studying through Traditional Cooking School. I will be barely touching the surface today and can not encourage you enough to continue learning through them and other research!
Why to sour??
First, I want to just give you a quick overview of the why. Making sourdough bread isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but it sure would be easier to just go pick up bread from the store. What is the big deal? There is really good reason for it.
To start, wheat contains phytic acid. As phytic acid goes through out system it grabs the minerals in our body and flushes them right on through. So the more wheat you consume, the more mineral deficient you become. In fact, one of the most common health issues in our society today is mineral deficiency!! This can effect EVERY aspect of your health.
Wheat also has a lot of sugar which, when we eat it, spikes our blood sugar. Our insulin then spikes up to keep our blood sugar under control…do this over and over again with every slice of bread and you end up with insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and diabetes!
But logically we might say, “If God made wheat for us to eat, why does it do us harm?”.
That’s where sourdough comes in! Through the souring process the phytic acid in the wheat is neutralized and the good bacteria that is causing the dough to sour eat all the sugar as their source of food. So during a magical 8 hour souring time…all of our wheat problems simply float away…
How to sour??
Again, I’m just going to give the basics today so to get more details check out this Traditional Cooking School post.
But the basics to making a sourdough bread are creating a starter by combining flour and water, let it sit in a warmish place for 12 hours, then add more flour and water. Repeat over and over again…forever. Once you have an established starter you can continue feeding it and taking from it for cooking purposes for the rest of your life. It is cool to think that in every batch of sourdough that you cook, you will have a little % of the original batch that you started with. Some families that hand down their starters can trace their starters all the way back to the 1800s.
If you want to cook with it every day you can keep it out on your counter and feed it twice daily and then just pull from it whenever you want to make a recipe.
If you are more of a once a week baker then you can actually store it in the refrigerator and just pull it out in time to give it 2-3 feeds before you bake.
It might seem as though I am over simplifying it (and there are some nuances involved), but it really is simple!
From my starter I had made English muffins, hotdog buns, cakes, cookies, pancakes, waffles, bread, crackers, tortillas, chips, and granola! All super easy and inexpensive!
- The biggest mindset shift is that when you are using traditional cooking methods you need to get in the habit of thinking 12-24 hours in advance. So the night before you can ask yourself, “do I want to make any sourdough baked goods tomorrow?” If the answer is yes then you can start the recipe souring that night so it will be ready the next day.
- A sourdough starter can be made with any flour you choose but using a non-processed whole wheat is definitely ideal for the healthiest result. To take it a step further, buying wheat berries is actually cheaper than ground flour and then you can grind them at home with a mill for another health boost. As soon as the berries are ground they start losing their enzymes so grinding them at home and using them immediately is the ultimate way! This is the grain mill I use.
- It can take a couple months of maturing time for your starter to be ready for making a loaf of bread so I would personally suggest trying some other things first. It can be discouraging if you try bread too soon and your first sourdough recipe is a flop…
- The starter really does do better with a little bit of heat (stress on “little bit” because you don’t want to kill the bacteria. So, right after I feed it I place it on top of my toaster oven on the “defrost” setting for 30 minutes. But you could also put it on a heating pad, dehydrator, or any other warmish place in your home.
- And finally, there are a lot of sourdough recipes out there but in order to enjoy the health benefits we spoke of today you need to make sure that ALL the flour in the recipe is soured for at least 7 hours. Some recipes will just have you add the starter as a flavoring technique and never actually include a souring time.
Wow…so much information! I have now been doing this for over a year and have learned SOOOO much during that time! If you have ANY questions or thoughts or wisdom to add PLEASE let me know!
Thanks for listening!