Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cultured Mondays - Sourdough, Why Do It?

It's Cultured Mondays once again and this week I will be discussing sourdough.  I would like to start out discussing the benefits of sourdough...why even go through the process in the first place?  Well, here are a few good reasons:

*Yeast - Baking yeast is modern invention (you can read more about it here).  The problem with this yeast is that the amount that is used to make bread is MUCH higher than the amount that occurs in naturally fermented (ie - sourdough) bread.  While this is not the only factor, it is a factor that contributes to yeast overgrowth in the digestive system and body, which leads to various health issues.

*Phytic acid and mineral absorption - Breads made with bakers yeast do not break down much of the phytic acids in bread, which prevents mineral absorption and they are more difficult to digest than their sourdough counterparts.

*Gliadin - This is component of gluten that many people have trouble tolerating.  Sourdough breaks down this component of bread much better than bread made with baker's yeast.  You can read more about this HERE.

Fed Whole Wheat Starter
 I recently started to use a whole wheat starter (my previous starter was rye, but it sadly died after a long time of faithful service), and I actually like this starter better.  I don't bake with rye as a rule, so it has been easier for me to maintain this starter since I use a lot of soft wheat (low gluten) flour in my cooking.  Some say that rye is easier to maintain than whole wheat, but so far I have not found that to be an issue.

I bake with my starter about twice a week.  To maintain a healthy starter, you need to feed it at least once a week.  Getting the hang of sourdough will take a few weeks, but once you have it figured out, you will never want to stop!  You can do all kinds of things with sourdough which include muffins, cakes, pancakes and more!  Happily, my sister is doing a sourdough series on her blog and I have linked you to two of her recipes HERE and HERE for a basic loaf bread and a breakfast cake.

Sourdough Bread Rising

(Featured on The Healthy Home Economist, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, The Nourishing Gourmet)


  1. Oh I LOVE sourdough & have been wanting to create my own starter. Unfortunately this desire arose after we went grain free :( Oh well, maybe our tummies will heal (from all the cool stuff I'm gonna learn! :) and we can go back to it in time. Yours looks so beautiful, though! And of course I will sign up through your link! :)

  2. I loved this. Also your pan is cool!