Sourdough can be very overwhelming. I was too overwhelmed to attempt it for many years, until I went to a friend-of-a-friend’s house in Birmingham for a sourdough class. She sent me home with a jar of starter and a recipe. I was still a little confused as to how to start, but I figured it out. I’ve dabbled in it here and there over the past 7 years and am making better loaves than ever! I hardly ever buy bread now.
100% Whole Wheat Sourdough
I use a white flour starter and feed it white flour (always use unbleached) and then make the bread with freshly-milled 100% whole wheat flour, ground from organic hard white wheat (which I order from Azure Standard in 25 lb bags). If I’m making it for other people or to be impressive, I use at least 1/3 or 1/2 white flour for fluffiness sake, but for my every day family bread I use 100% whole wheat. It’s a little more dense but, let’s be honest, homemade sourdough is going to be delicious even with 100% whole grain.
The trickiest part is definitely the whole grain aspect. It’s pretty easy to make a good loaf of white sourdough bread, but when you add whole grains it is denser and doesn’t rise and tall and fluffy. I think a good starter and recipe are the most important keys, but maybe also just some luck? Ha. I’m no bread scientest or expert, I just make it the way I do and enjoy the bread, whether it’s Pinterest Perfect or not. If you’re looking for a simple recipe without complicated words like “60% hydration” and “autolyse,” you’re in the right place.
Benefits of Sourdough over Yeast Bread
- Lactic acid of fermentation makes the nutrients of the grains more available.
- Has lower glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much as other bread.
- Has less gluten as the bacteria has broken much of it down. Helpful for people with gluten intolerance, but still not an option for celiacs.
- Fermentation makes the bread easier to digest. It’s rich in prebiotics that feed your good gut bacteria.
- If made with some whole grain flour, it’s rich in fiber, folate, magnesium, iron and even contains 5-7 grams of protein per slice.
How we Eat Sourdough
I like to bake it in sandwich loaves and use it for peanut butter jelly sandwiches, chickpea salad sandwiches, tomato sandwiches, avocado toast. As a treat on our fresh, warm bread we love Mikoyo’s Plant-Based butter. It tastes just like real butter to me, but is dairy-free and has no processed oils. It’s expensive, but one package lasts us at least a month. For a homemade vegan butter, this recipe is delicious. Note that neither of these are oil-free, but they are much better than typical dairy-free butter/margarine (that I avoid at all costs, yuck).
I get so many questions about how I make sourdough, espeically whole wheat, that I thought about making an e-book and charging for it. However, instead, I’m just going to ask for your email address. What a steal! Let me know if you have any issues receiving the document.