Look what I caught:
I started this sourdough start two days ago, and see how lovely and bubbly it is already? I followed the instructions on "starting a start" from the GNOWFGLINS Sourdough eCourse, and it worked immediately.
In a pint-size jar, I mixed:
• 1/4 c. pure water (no chlorine) with
• 3/8 c. freshly-ground whole wheat flour
I covered it loosely with a napkin and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I was so excited to see some bubbly life already, I did a wild yeast dance for my boys. They joined right in.
I fed it again in the same manner, mixing in the water first, and let it sit another half a day.
As anticipated, it began to rise on its own, so now with subsequent feedings, I discard half the start, and feed 1/4 c. water followed by 3/8 c. flour. (Many say using rye flour in a start is best, so I may start mixing some in.)
Just like me, a start stays happy if warm and fed. :)
Once it's been alive for about a week, and is doubling in size between each feeding (about every 12 hours), it will be ready to use. Can't wait to try my hand at some whole grain sourdough bread this weekend!
But do you know that you can make more with sourdough than just bread? Pancakes, tortillas, pasta, crackers, scones, muffins, pizza, chocolate cake... anything you do with flour can be done with sourdough. In fact, yeast as we know it wasn't commercially available until the 1870s. Sourdough is the choice of the ages. Some people have starts that date back to the pioneer days!
It may not surprise you that lacto-fermenting grains is the healthiest way to prepare them. The sourdough process helps breaks down gluten, increases nutritional content, neutralizes phytic acid (which inhibits absorption of some key minerals in the body), and improves digestibility by pre-digesting the starches. This video reiterates some of what I've said, but also explains nicely how sourdough works and enumerates the benefits:
It's nearly impossible to find sourdough made with whole grains (no refined flour), and once I've found it, I usually shouldn't afford it. Well, it doesn't get cheaper than flour and water, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get this right.
Stay tuned for more on sourdough. In the meantime, why don't you start your own!