Sourdough 101 Q&A
Homemade sourdough. Nothing like it! It’s a meditation and a craft at the same time.
It’s artisan cookery.
It is easy to make. No kneading required. It doesn’t take a lot of time but it does take a lot of waiting and thus it requires some preplanning so that you can fit it into your schedule.
I wanted to answer a few questions here because I keep getting sourdough questions a lot.
First of all, anyone can learn to make it. It does take time and a few messed up loaves.
Most mistakes are edible BTW.
When I first got started I made most of the mistakes in the book. Anything from my parchment paper sticking to the bottom of a good loaf to over fermenting a dough until it is just a huge pancake.
Find a blogger whos methods resonate with you. Most sourdough bakers have a different technique and a different approach to teaching. I quickly realized that the most popular sourdough blogs do not translate properly into my head. Funny enough the only ones that really helped me were female bakers (not that many of them BTW) because I suspect they use more intuition and less exact measurements of time/temperature/ quantity and so forth. So if you have the mind that needs exact directions the blogs that didn’t work for me will work for you. 😀
OK to the questions.
1. You can start your own starter from scratch. Add a spoon of flour to a spoon of water in a BIG jar and continue feeding it daily for 7ish days. Watch tutorials online. Use only organic flour and nonchlorinated water. Some people say they use any water and while the dough might still work I don’t think it is good to ingest chlorine compounds (which BTW do not evaporate).
2. My favorite easy beginner blog is @culturedfoodlife on IG. Particularly the overnight loaves. They are perfect for beginners. I despise (and that’s dislike with PASSION) overly detailed blogs because I can’t really learn anything if I am given minute by minute directions. I have to understand the process and what the dough is doing. So learning to read the dough is key and that happens with reading blogs and books and learning; watching videos – Northwest Sourdough Youtube Videos are great for that. And of course practice.
3. You can use einkorn in order to have the purest form of wheat berry- never hybridized, packed with so much nutrition. This is the one I get
4. You can do gluten-free varieties of sourdough bread. I am starting more experiments with that so I will be sure to share my findings.
5. I have multiple recipes on my blog with ideas of what you can do with the discard starter. I have a video on discard pancake/bread on the stovetop. I keep my starter in the fridge so I actually don’t have to feed it often.
6. Finally, you don’t even need to make bread with the starter. You can just make crackers, pies, and pancakes :D. I understand that bread can be intimidating.
I hope that helps and if you regularly buy bread or crackers or any baked goods it inspires you to start making it yourself.