I finally did it. I started my sourdough starter again.
Now that the summer has passed and the garden has been put away for the winter, I thought it would be a good time to hone my sourdough skills.
Recently, it’s become important to me to re-start this traditional, ancient technique.
For almost two months now, I’ve been conscientiously watching what I’ve been eating. Mostly, as I’m working to lose my baby weight. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I don’t “diet.” Instead, when I have weight to lose, I look at the quantity of what I’m eating and exercise.
I’m breastfeeding, so for me it’s even more important to continue eating nutrient dense foods including animal fats, vegetables, legumes, and good quality meats. I also don’t deprive myself of bread. It’s been the sustenance of life since the beginning of time.
However, over these couple of months I’ve started to notice that maybe I do start to feel a bit bloated after eating bread throughout the day. Since watching my food intake, I’ve lost about 10 pounds of baby weight. I feel the greatest when I have a yogurt smoothie in the morning, a green salad with tuna or sardines for lunch, and then a normal dinner of my choosing. I have started to notice some bloating when I have toast in the morning, a sandwich mid-day, followed by some bread with dinner.
Now, when I talk about bloating, I’m not talking about extreme discomfort. I just started to notice a bit.
In the real food and health communities there’s always people talking about bread. Especially when it comes to the phytate bound to phosphorus in bran (whole wheat).
If you’re not familiar with this topic, pretty much, the phytate in the bran acts as a chelator, a “claw”. It grasps the minerals such as phosphorous, iron, magnesium, and zinc, within the flour. Our digestive process in our bodies are not sufficient enough to cause it to release the nutrients. They then pass through us unused and can actually cause a depletion of these minerals within our body.
In order to release these nutrients, break down the phytate, many people soak their flours with an acid medium before baking, sprout their grains (which has been proven un-effective), or, as the ancients did, make sourdough.
This is a very difficult subject to touch on, however, after reading this book…
I knew I had to re-start my sourdough. I was blessed when Donielle from Naturally Knocked Up shared on instagram that Amazon had a free kindle download of this book. (You can follow us @dianabauman @donielle, there’s always something being shared on instagram 😉
This book is one of the best that I’ve read so far that touches on this subject. It goes into detail about ancient bread and the way it was made.
It’s amazing to think that in our early civilization, people not only survived but thrived on bread. Why is it that today so many of us suffer from allergies, gluten intolerance, and other deficiencies from what was once the sustenance of life?
Our bread is no longer the same. This book goes into great detail and research about the stark differences in how our bread was prepared traditionally to how it’s “produced” today. Even to the grain itself, it’s no longer grown the way God had intended for it to be. It’s been hybridized so much that it grows on shorter stalks, with more protein, and gluten.
Differences that not only effect the nutrients in the grain itself but is obviously effecting our health as well.
I was so moved by this book that I re-started my sourdough and made my first loaf of sourdough bread.
As long as you have some sourdough starter, this is a super easy bread to make. You can find the recipe at my friend Therese’s blog from Artistta.
I’m going to start tinkering with this recipe but for now, I’m excited to see how I start feeling as far as the bit of bloating I’ve been noticing. Beyond that though, I’m really happy that I’m able to provide my family with a completely nutrient dense bread they can thrive on.
Before you can bake bread though, you need to make a starter. Here’s the good news – It’s super easy to make at home.
In order to make a strong sourdough starter that can raise a loaf of bread, you need to feed your starter twice a day. This can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Once your starter doubles in size after feeding it, you'll know it's strong enough to use. For my own sanity, I mark my mason jar after feeding it so that I can visually see if my starter has doubled. You can see this red line on the first picture of this post.
- 1 pint sized mason jar
- 3/8 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1 quart sized mason jar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup filtered water
- In a pint sized mason jar, add 1/4 cup water and 3/8 cup whole wheat flour. Stir and cover the jar with cheesecloth or a coffee filter held down by using the ring of a mason jar lid. Place in a warm spot, 70 - 80F and allow to rest for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours has passed, stir the contents and throw away half of the mixture.
- To the mason jar, add another 3/8 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup filtered water. Again, allow to rest for 12 hours.
- Repeat this process for two weeks. I feed my starter once in the morning and once in the evening before bed.
- Once your sourdough starter is strong and doubling in size, you can begin to build your starter to use for recipes.
- To build, add the contents of your pint sized mason jar to a quart sized mason jar.
- Add 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2/3 cup filtered water. Allow to rest for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, throw away half of the contents and again, add 1 cup flour and 2/3 cup filtered water.
- Repeat this process for one week or until it doubles in size.
- You're ready to bake!
There are many great sourdough recipes. I’ve made pancakes, crackers, cake, and bread. My favorite resource for all things sourdough is the GNOWFGLINS sourdough course. There you’ll find so much information, recipes, and a great community to help you along the way.
Do you bake sourdough bread? Tell me, what are your thoughts on soaking, sprouting, or sourdough baking? I’d love to hear if they’ve made a difference in your families health.