Sourdough: General Info
What is Sourdough?
Sourdough is an American term for a natural leaven of "wild" or natural yeast and lactobacilli. Don’t mistake this with today’s modernized yeast, it is not. Sourdough is created from a sourdough starter.
A sourdough starter, is a starter or culture of wild/natural yeast and lactobacilli in a medium of flour and liquid which is propagated through ongoing refreshments (or " feedings" ) for the purpose of leavening bread dough, is ongoing and is continued on from one bake or activation to the next.
A Sourdough culture can last hundreds of years, even indefinitely.
When making the bread, the starter is mixed into flour/water/salt and the lactobacilli bacteria feed on the flour, producing gases that are trapped causing the bread to rise.
Resources to get you started:
*www.Breadtopia.com-a great website to help you learn the ins and outs of baking your own bread.
He is an excellent teacher, and has many great recipes. He does very helpful videos which I recommend you
watching so that you can learn techniques that will help make sourdough a love, and not a chore.
*Cultures for health-a website featuring helpful books and videos. You can also order a culture here if you don’t have one!
*www.Takebackthebread.com : great videos and information.
*www.traditionalcookingschool.com : Traditional cooking school by GNOWFGLINS-This lady has tons and tons of videos and helpful information on all things traditional foods!
“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” – Robert Browning
“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable
in its evocation of innocence and delight.” – M.F.K. Fischer
Artisan No-knead Sourdough Bread Recipe
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups of water (lukewarm and filtered)
¼ cup sourdough starter
Instructions: Mix together the flour and salt. Dissolve the starter in to the water. Add water/starter into the flour and salt mixture. Stir until mixed well (no metal spoons). Cover with plastic wrap and sit overnight or 10-14 hours at room temperature.
Dump onto floured surface and press and fold. Cover with plastic and rest for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, get a shallow bowl or proofing basket and oil it. When the rest time is over, spritz some oil on your hands and shape the dough and drop in bowl. Cover with plastic again and let rise 45-90 minutes depending upon temperature of the room, or if you have a proof setting on your oven, you can use that.
Bake in covered Dutch oven preheated to 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove lid and reduce heat to 375 degrees for another 15 minutes. Remove the bread from pan and cool on rack.
Watch this video: https://breadtopia.com/sourdough-no-knead-bread/
If you purchase a starter and place it in your refrigerator, you'll have to feed it once a week to keep it healthy, until you decide to bake your bread. To feed your starter, remove from the fridge, and leave out at room temperature for approximately 1 hour, then measure your starter and add equal parts of flour and water. You’ll want to leave the starter out until it bubbles then place it back in the fridge. Here's a great example of what it should look like after sitting out.
Tip: If you have a tiny bit of starter left at the bottom of your jar preserve a sample of your starter in case you ever need to start again! Take a spatula and smear the leftovers onto a piece of parchment paper. Wait for the smear to dry completely (until it breaks apart). Then, place the pieces into a Ziploc freezer bag and store in your freezer.
Here is a peek at the delicious bread we sampled at Beth Deitzel's home at the end of our class. Happy Baking!!!
Have an abundance of starter?
Once you've fed your starter several times, you will find that you will have an abundance of starter.
Here are a few recipes for your extra starter:
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins
Sourdough Pizza Crust
Sourdough Pizza Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups starter
1-3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Instructions: Mix flour and salt. Add starter and mix together. Add water only enough to bring it together. Add oil. Then, knead with oiled hands by folding in on itself until elastic and smooth. Cut in half and place each half in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sit at room temperature until nice and raised.
Roll out and place toppings as desired!
I preheat my baking stones at 425 degrees and roll out my crust onto parchment paper. Then once toppings are on my pizza, I place a thin baking sheet underneath and scoop up the pizza. Then, transfer the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven. Once the crust sets, you can slip the paper from underneath the pizza and finish cooking it.
Reviving Live and Dried Sourdough Culture from Freezer
Additional Sourdough Resources:
Cultures for Health
Weston A. Price Foundation
Kombucha: General Info
Kombucha is a drink that has been around for centuries and is continuing to gain popularity. The Wellness Momma explains what it is:
“Kombucha is a traditional fermented drink made of black tea and sugar. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes and has been prized by traditional cultures for its health-promoting properties.”
My family enjoys the flexibility that you have when making your own. You can try any number of flavor combinations to suit your family’s needs. The refreshing taste can replace some other, less desirable alternatives. The process of making Kombucha is very similar to Water Kefir. Read more about Water Kefir in this post.
When making your own Kombucha at home, you need two main ingredients: sugary tea and a SCOBY; you will also need time and patience. SCOBY is actually an acronym for: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This scoby is how the fermentation happens. The yeast in the SCOBY converts the sugar in the tea to alcohol and the bacteria converts the alcohol into acetic acid. This acid is a main component in vinegar, long known for its health benefits.
Safety Tip: Be careful with your SCOBY! It can grow mold and become contaminated. If you see or smell anything slightly off, pitch the SCOBY and start over. It is not worth it to risk the health of your family! A “normal” SCOBY should smell like apple cider vinegar and look like a flesh-colored, flexible disk.
Benefits of Kombucha
How to Make Your Own Kombucha
1. You need to make or obtain your own SCOBY.
2. Sanitize all glass containers that you will be using. This can be done in the dishwasher or by soaking in the sink using a sanitizer such as Star San or B-Brite. Let this air dry.
3. Brew tea.
5. Transfer tea to a large glass container you have previously sanitized. Add SCOBY. Cover with a breathable cloth and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Wait 7-10 days, checking often. This is the first fermentation.
6. For the second fermentation, put your choice of fruit into empty, sanitized easy top glass jars. Depending on the fruit, use 1 - 1 ½ Tablespoons. Here’s some ideas: blueberries, strawberries, mango.
7. Pour the SCOBY juice into the bottles, using a stainless steel strainer and pouring vessel, if desired.
8. If you wish to reuse your SCOBY, add 2 cups from the first fermentation that you saved and put in the fridge. Or, you can brew more tea and start this process all over.
9. Cap bottles and store in the same fashion as you did with the first fermentation.
10. Continue to check on the bottles for 3-5 days, opening slightly to “burp” your kombucha. Once finished, you may wish to open outside, just in case.
11. When ready to drink, use stainless steel strainer to filter out fruit so you have the juice straight. If desired, save fruit for smoothies.
About our Presenter:
Mark is an avid fermentor that has been home brewing kombucha for the past two years. At first he started making gallon batches of unflavored kombucha. In the past year, he has expanded his production and has started experimenting with different teas and flavorings for his kombuchas, strawberry/ginger is his favorite. Mark lives in Annapolis with his wife and 6 year old lab mix. In his spare time, he enjoys seeing new places with his wife and friends, getting outdoors, and cooking new dishes.
The Wellness Momma blog: https://wellnessmama.com/23994/kombucha-benefits/
Dr. Axe https://draxe.com/7-reasons-drink-kombucha-everyday/
Weston A. Price https://www.westonaprice.org/podcast/12-kombucha-mamma-kombucha-craze/
Sources our presenter used to get started:
Water kefir is a probiotic drink that can be made easily at home. You will need water kefir grains, which are clusters of bacteria and yeast as your starter. These can be ordered online or obtained from someone who makes water kefir and has extras to spare. With sugar and water, these grains will ferment quickly, producing water kefir. If a fizzier drink is desired, a second fermentation is in order.
Water kefir is dairy free and gluten-free. It can be used to replace sports drinks and even sodas! You can customize the flavor and amount of fizz based on your preference.
The Nourished Kitchen says:
“Water kefir, like most fermented foods, supports gut health and systemic wellness, The beneficial bacteria in the water kefir grains consume the sugar in the sugar water, and as they metabolize the sugar, they produce a variety of beneficial acids, food enzymes, B vitamins and more beneficial bacteria. This process of fermentation also reduces the sugar content of the drink.”
Tips & Tricks
Water Kefir Recipe : First Ferment
2 TB rehydrated kefir grains (if purchasing, they will be dry and you will have to rehydrate them, unless you are getting extra from a friend)
¼ cup sugar
Wide mouth glass quart jar
Fine mesh plastic strainer
Coffee filter and rubber band
1. Place sugar in the jar and pour a little bit of hot water over the sugar to dissolve it. Stir.
2. Add cold water up to the 3 cup line on the jar (This helps cool the water temperature down).
3. Make sure the water is room temperature (89 degrees or below) and then add the grains to the sugar water.
4. Place the coffee filter over the top of the jar and use the rubber band to secure it into place.
5. Set the jar on the counter - make sure it is out of direct sunlight - for 1 or 2 days. You want the liquid to be cloudy and have tiny little air bubbles.
6. Drain the grains using a strainer. These grains are ready to make another batch of kefir! If you are not ready for another batch, store used grains in the refrigerator in sugar water with a lid. When ready to use, discard water and make a fresh batch,
Do NOT rinse your grains!
Second Ferment - Apple Blueberry Water Kefir Soda
Water kefir from first ferment (see above)
100% apple juice, or other fruit juice, just make sure it is 100% juice
*optional: ¼ cup frozen blueberries, or other frozen fruit, organic is best
2 wide mouth glass quart jars with tight fitting lids
Fine mesh plastic strainer
1. If you haven’t already, strain the fresh batch of water kefir, from the first ferment, into a wide mouth jar.
2. Add juice until filled to top of rim
3. If adding fruit, do so now.
4. Put the lid on tightly and leave jar on the counter for one day.
5. After fermenting, strain fruit and discard (optional: add used fruit to smoothie)
If you didn’t use fruit, you may leave the jar on the counter for up to 3 days. This makes it have more fizz!
6. Refrigerate and enjoy!
*Special thanks to Beth for coming and educating all of us!
Drink Your Bugs podcast: https://www.westonaprice.org/podcast/73-drink-your-bugs/
Why is it important to learn ways to sneak this beneficial ingredient into your recipes? Contrary to popular opinion in most people, organ meats are actually very good for the body. The organs in animals are more nutrient dense than the muscles, meaning there are more vitamins and minerals. These parts of the animal do have a different taste and texture than the more common meats eaten, so there are ways to disguise the organ meat in recipes. The easiest way is to simply mix organ meats in with the other meat that you are cooking. Instead of 2 pounds of ground beef, use 1.5 pounds of ground beef with ½ pound of organ meat.
The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends eating some kind of organ meat once a week. It is also recommended that you only purchase grass-fed organic meat. The liver is the organ that detoxes and produces vitamins. So, there may be some toxins in the animal’s liver, however, if purchasing organically, the load of toxins should be much lower and the nutrition content should be high. Eating animal liver actually helps your body’s own liver to break nutrients and toxins down. Now that you know the benefits, here’s some ideas of how to incorporate animal organ meat into your diet without causing havoc at the family dinner table.
1 lb liver/hearts, chopped
2 lbs ground beef
3 TB butter
2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 cups beef broth
4 oz tomato paste
2 cups plain yogurt
1. Heat a large pot on medium-high heat, adding 1 TB butter to melt. Cook the liver/hearts. Set aside to cool a little.
2. Using same pan, add another TB butter and cook ground beef with onions, garlic, salt and mushrooms. Cook until browned. Turn heat down to simmer, adding extra butter if needed.
Don't forget to stir everything up!
4. Add the beef broth, tomato paste and yogurt to mixture on stove. Stir up and heat through. *Do not heat too long because you will destroy the healthy bacteria in the yogurt.
Serving suggestion: Linguine noodles pair nicely
with this dish to help absorb some of the liquid.
“And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full.” -Deuteronomy 11:15
Here's another recipe to try: Meatloaf
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground organ meat
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup cream
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp dried fresh herbs (your choice)
1 tsp unrefined salt
4 oz organic tomato paste
1. Mix the eggs and bread crumbs with cream. Let this mixture sit for a few minutes.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients, except for the tomato paste.
3. Form into a loaf and set into your pan.
4. Spread the tomato paste over the top.
Optional: To make this dish a meal, cut up some other vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, and peppers. Arrange around the meatloaf.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour.
This would be a great dish to double and freeze one to enjoy later!
Heather Brooks, Marketing Manager & Blog and Administrative Assistant
None of these posts have been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease. As with any medical concerns, always consult your medical professional before trying any of the ideas presented on this blog. All information has been obtained from various sources and personal experiences.