Sourdough, this ancient trick to make bread rise

Sourdough baking has been around for thousands of years, and there is evidence that it was baked with sourdough already in ancient times. So it's an old tradition that still lives on today. Starting a sourdough can feel complicated, but if you have patience and are careful with feeding, you end up with a sourdough that is always ready to bake. Once you get it going, the great thing about sourdough is that you store it for a very long time. 

Then How to start sourdough?

To start a sourdough, you need to mix flour and water and leave it at room temperature until it starts to rise. This process is called wild fermentation and occurs thanks to yeasts, lactic acid bacteria and other bacteria thriving. You could use sourdough to bake various breads, giving the bread a good taste and texture.

Here's a recipe on how to start your sourdough:

•    Take out a transparent jar with room for the sourdough starter to grow. Around 1 litre is recommended.

•    Mix 113 grams of rye or whole grain flour with 113 grams of cold water.

•    Stir so that no dry flour remains in the jar.

•    Cover the jar loosely and let it stand for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, feed the sourdough by removing half of the contents and mixing in 113 grams of flour and 113 grams of water again. Repeat this every day for 5-6 days until the sourdough is ready to use. Sometimes it may take a little longer than that. Keep feeding your sourdough until you get a stable culture that grows twice as big daily.

How do I know if my sourdough is ready to use? 

The best way to know if your sourdough is ready for baking is to keep an eye on it. Notice if the dough rises well after you feed it. Check if it has air bubbles. In addition, it should have a slightly sour aroma, somewhat reminiscent of beer or sour milk products.

Another way to test if your sourdough is ready to use is to take a glass and fill it with lukewarm water. Add a spoonful of sourdough to the water gently. If the dough flows, it is ready to use.

You remove as much as you need for your recipe when you use the sourdough. It usually is about 200 grams.

If you save 113 grams of sourdough in your jar, feed again. Leave for a couple of hours until you see that it is bubbling. Then just put it in the fridge if you won't use it all at once. Feed it weekly with equal portions of flour and water after removing all but 113 grams.

How long can you store sourdough?

A sourdough can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days before you need to feed it again. If you are not planning to bake for a while, you can put your dough in the fridge with a lid on. Here, the sourdough can survive 1-2 weeks before you need to feed it again.

If you want to store your sourdough longer than that, you can put it in the freezer. There it could survive for about one year.

If you use sourdough quite regularly, the fridge is a suitable storage place where you can keep it going for a long time as long as you remember feeding it with equal parts of flour and water once a week. If you get mould on your sourdough, just bite the sour apple, throw it away, and start over. 

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