Monday, August 8, 2011

Starting the starter

Day 3 of making a sourdough starter

I've decided to try sourdough bread baking, so here's the beginnings of my starter- organic spelt flour and pure water, in a pottery bowl on the kitchen bench. I'm using the method as described in Frugavore, but with spelt flour instead of organic rye, as I read a few people's experiences using rye, and having it not work for them. It should take about 6 days, then I can start baking!

I'm trying sourdough, as I've been having some digestive problems, probably for a long time, but didn't realise. I limited my bread intake as I knew white bread was a problem, I didn't eat much white bread anyway, mostly just made my own bread. I still had some problems after not eating bread, so I had to delve a little further. I had been making my own granola on and off for years, but had been eating it (dry) for breakfast most of this year. A few weeks ago I switched to porridge- rolled rather than quick oats, soaked in water overnight, and cooked on the stove, not in the microwave. Problem solved for a week. I think it was the soaking of the oats that helped, but I have my suspicions about dessicated coconut that I used in granola too (sulfite intolerance?) I ate some salami a week after my porridge experiment, and had pains within a few hours- probably sulfites. Sulfites are food preservatives, not always listed in the ingredients, but are the 220's if they are listed.

Anyway, it seems that in this modern age of fast everything, we make bread to quickly, and with cheaper and cheaper ingredients, with the addition of commercial yeast and bread improvers to speed things up. My bread takes about 3 hours from start to finish, the bread sold in supermarkets only takes about 1 hour to make. Sourdough breads are left to rise usually overnight, sometimes for 24 hours, which makes the gluten/wheat much easier to digest, as the proteins have started to break down (my simple understanding). Same principle with soaking oats overnight, to make porridge in the morning- much easier to digest. So gluten intolerance may not be as wide spread as it seems, if we just slow down, and cook things properly. I'll update you if the starter works, and I have bread :)

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