Pernille Berg Larsen has a passion for baking bread. Here she explains why sourdough bread is best & provides a sourdough starter recipe.
Using a sourdough starter when making bread will reduce the amount of yeast to a minimum. You’ll also notice the taste of the grains and the flour much better, as their flavours will be emphasised by the sourdough technique. And you won’t just get tastier bread. A sourdough will leave you feeling more satisfied, and you won’t have that after effect of bloating that many feel when eating bread.
However, it is not enough to simply reduce the amount of yeast.
You also need to let the dough rest longer in order to gain a good fermentation.
The sourdough starter is the real secret to getting a good fermentation going. Essentially your sourdough starter is old dough, which has already pre-fermented and contains Lactobacillus culture. Lactobacillus culture has a sour taste and is an active culture that lives off natural yeast spores from the air. Sometimes it can be difficult for you to get good sourdough starter going if your kitchen is too clean!
Adding a sourdough starter when baking bread is rather like feeding the sourdough, and it will contribute to a quicker fermentation of the dough. A natural fermentation will always take longer and normally dough with a sourdough starter needs to rest for a minimum of 8 hours. But again, it depends on how good the starter is, the room temperature and how clean the environment is.
How to make sourdough starter
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rye flour
2 cups water
1. Mix it all together and leave it on the kitchen bench for a minimum of 48 hours.
2. It is ready when it smells sour.
3. Store it in the fridge in a plastic container with a lid.
4. “Feed” it every time you use some or, at a minimum, once a week.
You “feed” it with the following:
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup rye flour
2/3 cup water
For recipes to make all kinds of breads, grab a copy of the book One Dough, Fifty Breads.
Simply use your sourdough as the basic dough instead of the yeasted dough.
About the author:
Pernille Berg Larsen lives by the mantra of keeping things simple. Author and teacher, she is passionate about spreading her message of how wholesome family food can be simple and fun to prepare.
This is the second in a series of posts Pernille is writing for us on baking bread. Her first post tells you why it’s a great idea to bake your own bread and provides a basic bread recipe where you can substitute the yeast for this sourdough starter.
The best flour for sourdough is our Organic Bread and Pizza Flour – which is a white flour that retains a little of the bran to give structure to your bread and pizza bases.