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:
Nutrition is always important, but especially when a woman is pregnant. Weston A. Price makes several recommendations that may or may not go along with what your doctor is telling you. Remember, many medical professionals rely heavily on prescription drugs and have little knowledge of nutritional benefits for the body. When thinking about nutrition, you always want to think in terms of quality, not quantity. The best option is eating nutrient-dense food so you feel full and your body is getting necessary vitamins and minerals.
Recommendations for pregnant and nursing women:
Avoid: processed foods, vegetable oils, trans fats, sweeteners, white flour, and soy. Soy can disrupt the development of hormones.
Vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy development in fetus:
This vitamin is linked to reproduction because studies with rats found they could not reproduce effectively without it. The human placenta makes a protein that transports Vitamin E. This vitamin can be found in high amounts in vegetable oils, however, they also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which use up Vitamin E within the body. Obtain this vitamin by consuming Palm oil, grass-fed beef fats, nuts, seeds, freshly ground grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
This vitamin is necessary for all cells, tissues and organs in the body to be differentiated. Two examples of very specific cells relying on Vitamin A are the tiny hair-like cilia in the lungs that move debris out and the nephrons in the kidneys which are responsible for filtering. Without adequate Vitamin A, the developing fetus could be predisposed to health problems later in life. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends 20,000 IU every day for pregnant women, received from milk, butter, eggs, liver, and cod liver oil.
The most common way to obtain Vitamin D is from the sun. Despite popular beliefs in the medical world, the sun’s rays are actually good for you in moderation. Vitamin D is very important in the third trimester for the fetus’ rapidly developing skeleton; it has also been linked to lung development. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends 2,000 IU every day for pregnant women, received mostly from cod liver oil, and some from butter, fatty fish, and lard.
Not much is known about this vitamin in terms of a developing fetus. It is known that this vitamin helps to lay down proper calcium salts in bone tissue and prevent calcium deposits in softer tissues. There is a documented case in 1997 of an infant with severe disabilities due to the mother taking Warfarin during pregnancy. This drug prevents clotting by making the body Vitamin K deficient. The best form of Vitamin K is found in fermented foods and grass-fed animal fats.
This acid is important for the nervous system and brain development, as it helps to form and protect neurons. It can be obtained through consuming cod liver oil and fatty fish.
Cod Liver Oil
In addition to providing the body with DHA, Vitamins A and D, cod liver oil also contains EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid. When the pregnant and lactating woman takes cod liver oil, it has been linked to higher IQ in the offspring and a reduced rate of type 1 diabetes. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends 1 ¾ teaspoons of cod liver oil every day.
Biotin is a B vitamin that may be linked to birth defects in humans, using evidence from an experiment on rats. This vitamin is found in liver and egg yolks. *Avoid raw egg whites when pregnant! Consuming entire eggs limits absorption of Biotin because of the egg whites. Cooking helps to lessen the affects of egg whites, but adding pure egg yolks to smoothies and ice cream would be even more beneficial. Additional foods containing Biotin are cheese, avocado, chicken and salmon.
Folate is probably the most common vitamin recommended during pregnancy. It helps produce new DNA, which in turn creates new cells. This is very important because the developing fetus is constantly making new cells and the mother must make new red blood cells to provide for the baby. Lack of this vitamin is linked to birth defects, reduced birth weight, miscarriages, and brain damage. Be careful that you are getting folate and not the synthetic version called folic acid. Folic acid must be converted in the body and it does not cross the placenta as folate does. It is recommended that pregnant women have 600 micrograms of folate per day. In addition to prenatal vitamins, liver, lentils, spinach, asparagus, beets and most greens have folate.
If needed, this mineral may be substituted for folate in some chemical reactions in the body. Choline’s direct role in the body, however, is developing the brain. Choline is very important for the nervous system and lab tests on rats have shown remarkable results when the pregnant mother was given high doses. Some results were an increase in memory, protection from neurotoxins, and better ability to multi-task. It is recommended that pregnant women have 450 mg per day, however studies on rats suggest an even higher amount.
This is amino acid is vital for protein synthesis and fetal growth. It is found in collagen-rich foods, such as animal skin and bone broth. Eggs and meat contain another amino acid which depletes Glycine. So, pregnant women need to be mindful to consume equal amounts of eggs and meat compared to skin, bone broth, liver, legumes, and greens. This will ensure they are getting enough Glycine in their diet.
Nutrition is always key, but especially for pregnant and nursing women!
Do your best to eat a healthy, balanced diet with all of these vitamins
and minerals to give your baby the best environment to grow!
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.