Sourdough bread is Europe’s quintessential fermented grain food. Before purified yeast, strains came into widespread use in the 20th century, all bread would have been some form of sourdough.
Sourdough cultures produce reliably leavened and earthy breads via the alchemical communion of the culture microorganisms, flour, water, fire and time.
The traditional sourdough process reliably neutralizes the anti-nutrients in the cereal grains as the flour is kept moist and acidic for many hours (or days).
Firstly the recipe for sourdough starter / culture
DIY SOURDOUGH STARTER
STEP 1: mix with a fork two tablespoons flour with some pure lukewarm water, until the consistency of thick porridge. Cover with a cloth and secure with string / rubber band.
• Set mixture aside at room temperature.
• Stir morning and night for a few seconds.
• After three days, the mixture starts to bubble and smells a little bit sour. At this point you have to feed for another three days.
• Every morning and evening, add one tablespoon flour and a bit of water and stir well.
• Within six days your sour-dough starter is ready for use.
8 Cups finely ground organic whole wheat or rye flour (You can also mix different flours)
Pure lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
STEP 2 At night mix 4 cups of flour, sourdough culture and lukewarm clean water to form moist dough. Let stand overnight covered with a tea towel.
Save ½ cup of sourdough as a culture for the next baking session; keep in a tightly closed jar in the fridge.
STEP 3 The next morning add the remaining 4 cups of flour, some lukewarm water and the salt. Knead and push well for about 7 minutes until it forms sturdy dough. Put the dough in two greased pans, cover again and let rise in a warm place for approx. 3 hours.
Place the pans in the oven without preheating.
Bake at 170C for about 35 minutes.
ESSENE / SPROUTED BREAD
• Follow the procedures in STEPS 2 and 3.
• Add to the dough two cups sprouted grains (the grains are best if sprouted over two days.
• Barley or wheat are suitable) Put the sprouts in the blender or ground in a food grinder for a few seconds, otherwise they will grow tails / threads in the dough, Bake at 170C for about 35 minutes.
• You can play around with this – we have baked in a solar oven and also dehydrated Essene buns.
FRUIT BREAD RECIPE
Follow the same procedures as in STEPS 2 and 3.
• Add to the dough: soaked (soak dried fruit for at least ½ hour) organic raisins, currants, dates, sliced apple, grated lemon peel, combination of dried fruit and spices, apricot, nuts, seeds or whatever you think is nice in fruit bread.
Bake at 170 C for 35 minutes.
Love & bacteria, Xo,