Updated: Nov 21, 2018
I am of the belief that fermentation is one of the most poetically profound and nutritionally valuable processes available to mankind. It was true thousands of years ago, and it is true today! Emerson writes, "...that fermentation develops the saccharine element in the grain, and makes it more palatable and more digestible. No; they wish the pure wheat, and will die but it shall not ferment. Stop, dear nature, these incessant advances of thine; let us scotch these ever-rolling wheels!". The fermentation of wheat can be traced back to the Egyptians and as far as 2,000 BC!
WHY WILD-FERMENTED BREAD IS MORE NUTRITIOUS THAN ANY OTHER BREAD
The process of wild fermentation calls us to be invested and conscious of the food we are putting into our bodies. We feed the "mother culture" (this is the culture all of your starters will be taken from!), we keep her strong and healthy and rising, and that same energy get's kneaded into our bread, and then transferred to our bodies. We feed the mother, and the mother feeds us! What a beautiful symbiosis! When we ferment wheat we are basically letting bacteria and "wild-fermentation" do a little pre-digesting for us! The lactic acid in our fermenting culture helps to lower the breads overall PH, thus lowering it's phytate content. This is wonderful because phytates are considered antinutrients--binding to minerals in the body and preventing absorption. Fermentation also helps to degrade gluten, thus making it easier on the gut, and some gluten-sensitive people find that they can actually tolerate wild-fermented breads! There is also research that shows the acids released during fermentation help the body to metabolize slower, thus helping to control blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
SOURDOUGH STARTER RECIPE
YOU WILL NEED:
-Flour (I love Jovial Organic Einkorn* & King Arthur's bread flour)
-Room temp water (as clean and fresh as you can get it! Spring or filtered work fine.)
-A bowl or jar that can hold at least 2 quarts, preferably glass
-A stir stick
-A breathable cover i.e. Potato sack towel or cheesecloth
-Space to leave fermenting wheat with no other cultured foods nearby
1. Mix approximately 1 cup of flour with 2/3 cup warm/room temperature water.
2. Stir well! We want to incorporate air, that's where the bacteria gets in to do it's thang.
3. Leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours.
4. This is where fermentation bridges the gap between science and art, my friend! Depending on humidity, temperature, flour quality, water used, etc your culture will need more or less food, more or less often! Start with feeding every 12 hours, adding 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water, mixing vigorously, and re-covering. And see what happens! Within 2-4 days you should start to see BUBBLES, and after that, you should see your culture starting to expand.
5. When your starter is bubbly and expanding/doubling in size like the blob from an old horror film, it's ready to use! You'll take out what you need for your recipe and place the rest of your mother in the fridge where she will live out the rest of her days. Use your starter within a few hours of feeding to ensure maximum efficacy.
Jovial Organic Einkorn All Purpose Flour: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JS3YX9E/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1