Fermenting Adventures: How to make sourdough bread

Posted by on September 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm.

I first heard about sourdough bread in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s, Little House series. To be specific, the title of that book was called By the Shores of Silver Lake. In the chapter titled, Merry Christmas, Laura’s ma explains to Mrs. Boast, how to make sourdough bread.

“But how do you make the sour dough?” Mrs. Boast asked. “You start it,” said Ma, “by putting some flour and warm water in a jar and letting it stand till it sours.” “Then when you use it, always leave a little,” said Laura. “And put in the scraps of biscuit dough, like this, and more warm water.” Laura put in the warm water, “and cover it,” she put a clean cloth and the plate on the jar, “and just set it in a warm place,” she set it in its place on the shelf by the stove. “And it’s always ready to use whenever you want it.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder: By the Shores of Silver Lake

I remember reading this passage and wanting to make it myself. I was seven at the time. I could not convince my mother to embark on a sourdough adventure with me. She rarely deviated from a recipe and here I was wanting to attempt to make sourdough from a passage I read in a book! And so… sourdough bread making was placed on the back burner, until more recent years.

Sourdough bread is fermented, which means, you don’t need yeast. In addition, due to the fermenting process, you are creating lactic acid and lots of healthy bacteria that are baked into the bread. I guess, my question would be how much of the healthy bacteria remains during the baking process? That’s something I’ll have to research a bit more. The majority of the fermented foods that I prepare are consumed without heat.

Since I don’t really feel like making my sourdough starter this evening, I’ll do it tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m hoping my first sourdough projects are a success. If they are, I’ll eventually purchase a fermenting crock specifically for my sourdough starter. Since, my daughter and I have not made homemade pizza in a while, I believe one of our first sourdough projects will be pizza!


How to make your own sourdough starter

Photo Source: Sourdough Companion

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