Sourdough Starter & Simple Bread
“My Ashram internship was the perfect opportunity to go further with my interest in sourdough. There are so many metaphors – balance, relationships. Starter is a delicious mix of harmonious microbes!”
– Molly Askey-Goldsbury, Kitchen-Garden Intern
Sourdoughs are fermented by a variety of lactic acid bacteria, called Lactobacillus, which consume sugar to form carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas. They also produce lactic and acetic acids, which give sourdough breads their distinctive flavour.
Correctly fermented wheat contains 18 amino acids (proteins), complex carbohydrate, B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium, and maltase.
Sourdough Starter Recipe
- Mix 1 cup flour and l/2 cup water
- Leave to rest at room temperature (25-30℃) for 24 hours, or until you start to see bubbles forming on the surface.
- At this point, add the same quantities of flour and water as before; stir thoroughly and leave for a further 24 hours.
- This time before you add the flour and water, remove and discard half of the mixture. (The starter is not yet stable enough to use.)
- Repeat this removal and replenishing each day for the next 7-14 days.
- Once you are confident that the mixture is reliably doubling in size after each feed, you are ready to try out your starter.
The temperature you keep your sourdough at has a big impact on both growth and flavour. Whilst you are establishing your starter, it’s important to keep it at room temperature, 25-30℃.
Starter Bread Recipe
- 1 cup rye starter
- 5 cups rye flour
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp salt
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About the Author
MOLLY ASKEY-GOLDSBURY is on a five-month internship at the Ashram. For her kitchen study project, she investigated use of sourdough culture and artisanal methods. Her presentation – and taste treats – were well received. “Always into food,” the England native is on sabbatical from a whole food cooperative.