Crafting your own naturally fermented foods is simple and yields tasty products rich in enzymes and micronutrients. Such vital "living foods" resupply the body with microorganisms beneficial (and, in fact, essential) for proper digestion.
Wild fermentation occurs naturally without human aid or interference. Benevolent microorganisms, such as yeasts and beneficial bacteria, can be introduced into foods spontaneously, often by settling out of the air. Supposedly, leavened sourdough bread was born when a busy ancient Egyptian housewife left flour soaking in the heat for just little too long.
While you can get a sourdough "start" from a friend or buy dehydrated starter kits, loving your very own sourdough starter to life couldn't be easier.
Prep time:5 minutes
- 1 cup whole grain organic spelt (or other) flour
- 1 cup warm, filtered water
- Large glass or cermaic bowl
- Clean, white tea towel
- 1 quart or half gallon jar with a lid that can be closed loosely
Step 1. Bless your starter
I am serious about this. Send your starter positive energy when you make it and each time you feed it.
Step 2. Make the starter
Mix together the flour and water in the bowl with a whisk until smooth. Scrape down any splatters with a rubber spatula and cover the bowl with the tea towel. Let stand in a warm, undisturbed place until it begins to bubble and froth, 1-3 days or so.
At this point, the starter is ready to use.
The starter should be an measurable consistency, like thick pancake batter, but not sticky like biscuit dough. If it is too dry, add more water. If it is too runny add more flour.
Step 3. Feeding and using your starter
If you plan to use the starter almost daily, keep it on the counter and feed it equal parts flour and water to replace the amount of starter you take out. Tell it you love it.
If you will not use your starter as often, keep it in the fridge. Remove it the night before you plan to bake and replace what you use with equal parts flour and water. If you don't use it about once a week, you may need to feed it a few tablespoons every few weeks to keep it going.
If you go on vacation or go through a stint of not baking, you can freeze your starter in a freezer bag (or parce it out into 1/2 to 1 cup incriments which you can thaw the night before you bake and use as the starter).