Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sourdough 101 class and recipe

Frequently asked Questions and recipe…

How can I get/make a starter? has a great selection to order online. You can find a friend who will share some or, I prefer, to make, keep and share my own. Mix 1/2 c. water and flour together in a jar. Cover loosely and set in a warm part of your kitchen on the counter. For the next 2-3 days stir in 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water until it becomes bubbly. That's it, now you have a starter.

What’s the difference between the “sponge” and “starter” ?
The term “sponge” is used, generally, when your starter has been fed the night before. “Starter” is used to make the sponge. When you save the sponge and put it in the fridge it now becomes your “starter”

How often should I feed my starter?
I feed mine at least once a week. Remember this is a living “pet” and needs just a little attention now and again.

Is it bad when there’s murky water on the top?
No. This just needs to be stirred back in a fed a little.

What if my sourdough smells bad?
There are a few ways sourdough “should” smell. Smells like “beery” and “sour” are normal. If there’s really funky smell and your instincts tell you to run go ahead and dump it down the sink and make a new starter.

What if I am going out of town and can’t feed my starter?
I feed mine the night before I leave. Right before I go I put it in the freezer. When you get back place it on the counter overnight and feed it in the morning. Make some bread or put it back in the fridge.

Why is sourdough healthier than regular bread?

* Breaks down gluten
*Naturally preserves bread
*Has a better nutrient profile
*Neutralizes anti-nutrients
* Is easier to digest
*Keeps blood sugar regulated
*Has lower carbohydrates
*Has/uses lactobacillus (friendly bacteria)
**It tastes WONDERFUL!!!

Makes 2 Loaves

4 cups starter
1 ½ c. warm water
1 ½ c flour (½ white; half wheat)
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TSP Salt
2 TSP sweetener
4-6 cups flour ( half white and half wheat)

Combine starter, water and 1 1/2 cup flour. Allow to sit at least 8 hours-24 hours. Remove 2 cups of sponge and replace it in the jar with your starter and feed equal amounts of flour and water. With remaining (5 c.) sponge add remaining ingredients but flour. Stir well. Add flour 1 cup at a time alternating wheat and white. Begin by stirring with fingers. As it gets thicker begin to knead in dough. keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and SLIGHTLY tacky. At this time you can shape and put in 2 lightly greased bread pans. Cover with lightly sprayed plastic wrap and set aside until it rises. keep in mind that it won't rise like yeasted bread but you will see it get fluffier. The longer the better for digestion (24 hours= more sour).

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before you cut or it will be dense. Enjoy!

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