Discover three important benefits for eating real sourdough bread. Then learn how you can easily make your own sourdough starter at home. Once you begin, you and your family will not want to go back to the pre-packaged and overly processed options on the supermarket shelves. There is just something so comforting about homemade bread from your own oven. The smell alone is a fun experience for the senses.
If you’re like the thousands of people who suffer from gluten-intolerance or sensitivity (including those who suffer from Celiac, Hashimoto’s, or Leaky Gut), and miss having a yummy bagel or buttery toast with your breakfast or perhaps a delicious fresh out-of-the-oven, homemade dinner roll, don’t fret…because there may be a better option than just the gluten-free (GF) options that we all know don’t quite measure up. Learn how to make this simple sourdough option at home.
In some cases, the GF options may keep you from gluten exposure, but may not be as healthy as the big companies lead you to believe. Read my post on some facts that everyone should be aware of before going GF here.
SOURDOUGH, A HEALTHY CHOICE
- Better for your gut health. Due to the long fermentation process, it breaks down the hard-to-digest proteins and enzymes like phytic acid that you typically find in grains. Phytic acid is considered an anti-nutrient and impairs the absorption of key vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium. Those who eat a lot of commercial grains (rice and bread in particular) are typically nutrient deficient in many vital vitamins and minerals because of this. As a result, these folks are more susceptible to otherwise preventable disease and illness. Sourdough is less likely to damage your gut lining and therefore is a natural choice to help support good gut health.
- Easier to digest. Sourdough is easier to digest due to the fact stated above which will make it easier for your body to absorb and assimilate the vitamins and nutrients into your system. This alone wins my vote! I am super sensitive due to certain gene limitations and so I need all the help I can get to naturally absorb and detox.
- No artificial junk added. Making your own homemade sourdough at home is 100% natural and you control what ingredients you add into your recipes. So there are no artificial dyes, colors, chemicals, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, or any other questionable ingredients. This obviously wins my vote as well! The closer to the source we eat, the healthier our bodies will become.
HOW DOES MAKING YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH STARTER WORK?
The process is quite amazing! With just two simple ingredients, flour and water, you are able to ferment this amazing mixture into a natural leavening agent, just like folks did before modern-day conveniences.
Little by little as it cultivates the natural yeast from your environment, it will start to come alive right before your very eyes. Like anything that is alive, it will need to be fed regularly to help promote growth.
WHAT TO EXPECT THE FIRST FEW DAYS?
Brand new sourdough starter just looks like wet flour in the beginning. It may look like nothing is happening at first, but be patient and keep your starter well fed and hydrated and before long, you will notice changes with each new day.
HOW LONG DOES THE WHOLE PROCESS TAKE?
Typically, it will take 5-7 days before your starter becomes active. In some cases, it can take up to 2 weeks, depending on the conditions of your kitchen during the maturing process.
WHAT IS THE BLACK LIQUID THAT COLLECTS AT THE TOP OF THE JAR?
No need to panic! That liquid is a visual sign that your yeast needs to be fed. It has exhausted all its’ nutrients and is hungry.
Simply pour out some of the extra liquid, aka “Hooch,” and continue to feed like usual.
**This post contains affiliate links. Please see full affiliate disclosure here.
TOOLS YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL FOR STARTING YOUR SOURDOUGH JOURNEY
This book is my favorite! It has easy to follow directions and covers a lot of recipes that you’ll enjoy trying.
I ordered both these bannetons and they do really well for giving my loaves a more artisan look.
I also picked up these mixers to help with mixing the dough.
UPDATE: I added this stainless steel dough scraper with wooden handle and added this bread lame (below) to help with scoring my dough.
DISCOVER HOW SIMPLE IT IS TO START YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH STARTER AT HOME
Sourdough Starter from Scratch
- 1/2 c whole wheat organic flour
- 1/4 c of filtered water or for non-chlorinated water, set a glass of tap water overnight before using to eliminate the chlorine before use
- all-purpose flour or bread flour for regular feeding (we have started using freshly milled grain and our starter has done fabulously)
- 64 oz glass Mason jar with lid or a glass bowl with space to grow
- Begin by adding the flour and 1/4 c water into the jar and stir well until fully incorporated.
- Cover with towel or cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band.
- Let sit for 24 hrs at room temperature.
- Next, after 24 hrs, check to see if any bubbles form. If you see bubbles, add 1/2 c flour and 1/4 c water and stir. If no bubbles have formed yet, give it another 24 hrs to process.
- On day two, check for more bubbles and re-feed starter. If bubbles still have not formed, discard and start over.
- You will want to re-feed the starter at least 3 times (discard 1/2 of starter in between feedings, but do not throw out...you can use the discard for making pancakes, waffles, pizza, etc) and then continue this process until you see consistent bubbles and the starter doubles in size within about 8 hrs of each feeding. Once that is achieved, you can store the starter in your fridge, but make sure to feed about once per week.
- When you are ready to bake some sourdough, remove the jar and let sit for 24 hrs prior to feed and allow the mixture to warm up and "wake up" again.
- We bake a lot, so my starter stays on our counter most of the time.
- Note: To keep it simple, starting with a 1:1:1 ratio (1 part flour, 1 part water, 1 part starter) and discarding half before each feeding is great too.
This is what our mature sourdough starter looks like when it is well fed and happy. See all those beautiful bubbles?! Overtime and with a little care, your starter will begin to grow healthier too. Once your starter matures, the real magic can begin. Hope that you’ll capture your own wild sourdough yeast soon!
Remember, sourdough can be a little finicky at first, but once you find that sweet spot, it will be so worth your efforts. It is like an art form and needs to be cultivated and nurtured.
If you find that you don’t have time to make it yourself, try a trusted natural and organic brand that uses minimal ingredients. Also, take a look into making the switch to sprouted grains that are also easier to digest and less likely to cause the typical gut damage associated with conventional store bought bread. Learn more about the health benefits of sourdough bread here and start taking back your daily bread.
Disclaimer: The health and wellness posts shared here on GracefullyHome.com are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. The information provided on this blog is for general educational purposes, has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietician or nutritionist.
You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices. Use of any of the recommendations or helpful tools and tips on the GracefullyHome.com blog does not constitute a client-coach relationship.
Do you have a sourdough bread recipe that you recommend?
Thanks for reaching out, Erin. I appreciate you stopping by. My sourdough starter can be a bit temperamental at times, but I do find that the recipes in the book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa turn out well. She shares simple loaf pan bread recipes in her book as well, if you are interested in checking it out.
If I don’t have the time with my schedule to do this all the time do you have a trusted natural organic sourdough starter brand that you trust think you really enjoyed this post now I’m looking at your other post
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post, Cheryl. That is a great question. As a supplemental bread option, we also keep Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted bread from “Food for Life.” It is typically found in the frozen organic section of the grocery stores that offer it. It is a bit pricey, but the brand “Simple Truth” also offers their cheaper version of sprouted grain and non-grain breads that contains less phytic acid in them compared to conventionally made breads. I hope that helps. I appreciate you following along. Have a blessed weekend.