Hey guys, I’m so excited about this post! If y’all could only be a fly on the wall when I was attempting to make sourdough bread, which you can read about that debacle here. I was on the phone with Starla…alot…and she really was so patient and kind and she walked me through the process. It is so helpful to have some guidance when starting your journey to eat your way to wellness. We want each of you to feel like we can walk through this stuff together! Here is Starla’s step-by-step guide through the process of feeding and baking your sourdough bread. You can do this! We would love to hear about your attempts, failures and successes. Comment below with your stories and/or questions.
God bless! ~Shanna
The first thing you will need to start your sourdough journey is the actual starter itself. You can make a sourdough starter at home and it will be unique to your area, because of the particular yeasts and bacteria that live in your local climate. I learned how to make my sourdough starter from The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Fermenting by Wardeh Harmon. If you would prefer not to make your own, you can often get a starter from friends who bake sourdough bread. I have done this many times. If you would rather buy a special sourdough starter from a particular place, you could always purchase one from Ed Wood. He is an expert in the art of baking sourdough bread and you can find products and information on his work at www.sourdough.com. You could also purchase a starter from Amazon, or from the King Arthur Flour company.
So if you have a sourdough starter that has been going for a while, you need to take it out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. I have been doing this for a while, so my jar has become sort of a home for my sourdough starter with its own little micro-biome. Do not be put off if the jar or crock that you keep your starter in is looking sort of ugly. It is what it is, a house to colonize yeast and bacteria.
When your sourdough starter is at room temperature, dump off the excess liquid, if you have any. This liquid can be brown or even darker and it might smell like very old beer. Then dump the jar of starter into a bowl. You will want to time this around five or six p.m. in the evening.
You want to take your sourdough starter jar and add a small amount of well water or filtered water to the bottom of the jar. Put the lid back on and put it back in the refrigerator. This will keep the jar from drying out, because you are going to use it again to house your leftover sourdough starter for your next batch.
***STEP ONE: FEEDING YOUR STARTER***
First Feeding: Between 5 and 6 p.m.
2/3 cup Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Well Water or Filtered Water
Thoroughly stir together. Cover the the starter with a towel, and go do life.
Second Feeding: Between 10 and 11 p.m.
1 1/4 Cups Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Well Water or Filtered Water
Thoroughly stir together. Cover with a towel and go to bed.
Third Feeding: Between 8 and 9 a.m. the following morning
2 1/2 Cups Stone Ground Flour
2 Cups Well water or Filtered Water
Stir together thoroughly. You can either let this set for up to an hour, or you can start the bread dough right a way.
***NOW THAT YOU HAVE FED AND PREPPED YOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER, YOU CAN BEGIN MAKING THE DOUGH.***
Recipe for my version of sourdough bread:
6 Cups Sourdough Starter (You will have 1 to 2 cups of starter leftover-add it back to your jar)
2 Cups Mixed Seeds and Grains (Recipe below)
3 Cups Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
3 Cups All Purpose King Arthur Flour
1/2 Cup Lard or Refined Coconut Oil, or One Stick Butter
2 1/2 Cups Sour Milk, Kefir, Buttermilk, or Yogurt thinned with water
4 1/2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt
Mixed Seeds and Grains
2 Cups Golden Flax Seeds
2 Cups Sesame Seeds
2 Cups Sunflower Seeds
2 Cups Oatmeal
2 Cups Rye Flakes
2 Cups Barley Flakes
Mix altogether and place in a glass jar or plastic bag. Store in the freezer or in a cool, dry place.
To Make the Dough:
In a large bowl, add the six cups of sourdough starter, two and half cups kefir, (liquid of choice) lard, (fat of choice) then add two cups mixed grains and seeds, then the two different flours. Now you are going to knead this altogether. You can use a mixer, but I like to do it by hand. You will want to knead by hand for at least five minutes, then you will add the salt, and then knead for another five minutes.
When the bread is smooth, cover the whole thing with your choice of fat. Put the bread dough back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and then cover the bowl with a couple of tea towels. You will want to place the bowl in a warm spot and let it set until six or seven p.m. Check dough during the summer months, because you might need to punch it down, because of the heat. (…and ooze out all over your oven, as I discovered. ~Shanna)
Around six or seven p.m. get three bread pans, grease them with the fat of your choice. I prefer to use lard. Take your dough out and divide it into three equal portions. I use a small scale for this, but for years, I just eye-balled it. Make your loaves and put them in the pans with the seams facing down. Grease the tops of the loaves and gently cover with plastic wrap and tea towels. Let them set and rise for about one and a half to two hours. Turn your oven on to 375 degrees and bake for forty five to fifty minutes, depending on the size of your loaves and your oven. When they come out, immediately butter the tops and place them on cooling racks. ~Starla