This is the second post in our Fermentation February series. To read the first post, go here.
Is Sourdough Bread Good For You?
I know what you’re thinking. “But it’s white bread, and only whole wheat is healthy.” “Wait, bread is fermented?” Yes! Wild yeast is present in the sourdough starter (whether bought or homemade). Phytic acid found in the bran of wheat can stop enzymes from breaking down protein and starch in the stomach. This can cause digestive problems in some people. Phytic acid also binds to nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron and keeps our bodies from absorbing them. Luckily, the wild yeast used to make sourdough cancels out the phytic acid, making sourdough easier to digest and nutrients easier to absorb. The long, slow fermentation is what neutralizes the phytic acid, so quick yeast doesn’t have the same effect. Sourdough is also a prebiotic which supports gut health!
How To Make Your Own
- Get your hands on a starter. You can buy one through us here, or make your own if you’re feeling adventurous (find directions here).
- Make your leaven the night before you plan on baking. Combine 1/2 tablespoon of your starter with 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons water. Mix well, cover, and let sit for twelve hours.
- In a separate bowl, mix the leaven with 1 1/4 cups of water. Mix in 2 cups of flour. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- In another bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in 3 teaspoons of water. Pour on top of the rested dough and pinch to let it soak in. Rest for another 10 minutes.
- Lift your dough and fold it over, then turn the bowl a quarter turn. Repeat three more times. Do the whole procedure three more times at 30 minute intervals.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place on a clean, floured towel inside a wicker basket or colander. Let it sit until it is about 50% bigger, then transfer to the fridge for 8-12 hours.
- Bake immediately after. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place your baking stone with a pot of water (or a dutch oven) inside to heat simultaneously. Once the oven is preheated, take your baking stone or dutch oven out, carefully flour it, and place the loaf inside. Slice an X on the top of the loaf with a knife.
- Bake for an hour, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 10-15 more minutes (remove lid if using dutch oven). Take it out of the oven and enjoy!