Stay in the Dough - here's our quick guide to understanding and making your own gluten-free sourdough starter and leaven for using with Hungry Scarecrow bread flour mixes.
What is Sourdough?
Sourdough is the traditional way in which bread was leavened using flour and water.
Sourdough consists of a mix of different yeasts and lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The presence of LAB results in a high level of lactic and acetic acid in sourdough bread, providing the distinctive sour taste that gives its name. In recent years there has been renewed interest in using sourdough products, not only for their flavour, but the natural preserving effect of the acid as well as being very beneficial for gut health.
Depending on the level of lactic acidification, sourdough fermentation leads to an increase in the life of the bread, softness, flavour and volume. Overall, sourdough fermentation improves the gas retention in bread dough.
The type of water used is very important. Generally, filtered water or boiled, cooled filtered water is best. I’ve made sourdoughs with both hard and soft water with the same results.
Sourdough can be kept in the fridge when not being used, refreshing it once or twice a week. If you're not using it regularly, you can discard some of it before feeding, making sure to keep the water (also known as Hooch) which settles on top even if it is dark in colour.
Preparing your Sourdough
- Sterilise a glass jar or similar container.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of flour with 1 teaspoon of water. Always use a clean, preferably sterilized, spoon.
- Mix well, cover and leave in a warm place.
- Repeat this process for up to 8 days. You should see signs of fermentation with bubbles forming and a distinctive fruity aroma.
- By day 8 your sourdough will be ready to use.
A sourdough made from millet flour tends to be fruity and yeasty and gives a pleasant, mild flavour.
So there we have it, the perfect recipe for the most delicious sourdough - enjoy folks.