the pure core organic life mirror

sourdough ~ sustaining a unique culture for producing fresh baked artisan breads . . .

fresh baked sourdough sanwich loaffresh baked sourdough italian olive oil and herb bread

artisan bread - every batch is different in the sense of always good and better and better - a work of edible art - and a naturally timeless interaction and energy exchange... humans have been making naturally leavened bread for thousands and thousands of years, and each starter is unqiue - a culture formed from the wild bacteria on the grain itself, mixed with the vibes and rhythms of the particular environment that it is cared for and nourished in - producing healthy, delicious, nourishing whole food

it is far less intimidating or time consuming than it may seem to get a great starter going, and to be enjoying home baked bread regularly... enjoy the process - get the feel - find your own rhythm, and remember that your culture is very resilient - a starter can be as little as a spoonfull of dehydrated powder or a tiny ball of dough, and it will still come back to life if you feed it what it needs... a culture works with you as you find a groove, and this gallery / guide serves as a record of our own process

after years of wanting to try it, trying once and failing, trying again and getting it right, and now, after 2 years of all home made bread, we can definitely say it is well worth the effort... in general, five one pound loaves of fresh baked organic sourdough bread will be less than the cost of one or two loaves of organic store-bought bread... it digests very well, is an excellent source of nourishment, freezes very well, and tastes amazing - try it and see for yourself

R E C I P E S : soft wheat and seeds bread / sprouted wheat and seeds bread / barley oat bread / vegan sourdough pizza

the bread log / gallery of sourdough education: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

a living culture ~ how to make your own sourdough starter . . .

in a clean, clear glass jar (wide-mouth ball jars work great), or clean earthenware crock (large enough to hold about 3 cups of starter), combine 1 cup of organic whole wheat flour and 1 cup of lukewarm water... stir well, cover with a cloth or poke holes in the lid, and set in a warm (between 65 and 70° is ideal) dark place - let sit for 8 hours, then discard half of the mixture, add another 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup lukewarm water, stir well, and put it back in a dark warm spot... repeat this process every morning and night for a minimum of 1 week, preferably 2... be as clean as possible when mixing everything to avoid any weirdness

after about 2 weeks of this, you can use your starter right away or stick it in the fridge to be used when you are ready... your starter needs air - not too much to dry it out, but enough to keep it breathing - a cloth with a rubber band around it works nicely, or if you have a lid that you can poke a few holes in this is cool too

sourdough startersourdough starter

the procedure (three jar method) / basic bread recipe . . .

the traditional way is to take your starter, add new flour and water, let it proof, then take a pinch of your proof and put it back in the fridge... its simple but sometimes one can forget to do that part, and if you forget, you end up with no starter! so we began using a hybrid as a precaution: about 3/4 cup of starter stays in the fridge in a glass jar with a cloth top and rubber band around the mouth - you can also use a jar with a couple holes poked in the lid (like a reused peanut butter jar)... to use, take out the starter and stir well with a nice clean spoon - we've found the easiest way is to use 3 of the same size jars, and when its time to make bread, just separate the starter from the jar that stays in the fridge equally into the two clean jars... add 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup pure water (at room temperature) to each jar, stir well, cover both with cloth or lid... place jars in a dark place at room temperature for about 8 hours... place one jar back in the fridge for the next time you bake - and add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup lukewarm water to the other jar - stir well, cover lightly, and set in warm dark spot for another 8 hours... for us, this process starts at like 5pm, to 1am, to 9am, or 7pm, to 3am, to 11am

next morning, mix 10 cups of flour with 4 - 4 1/2 cups lukewarm water in a big bowl or pot (halve these portions in two bowls if you are making a mix of whole wheat and white loaves), stir your starter well, then add it to the flour and water and mix until it is roughly combined - let the flour sit and absorb the water for 30 minutes to 1 hour and lightly cover the bowl/pot while it sits to keep it moist... sprinkle in 1 to 2 tbsp. pure sea salt, stir a bit, then move dough out onto a floured board / counter... begin to work the dough, and knead for 10 minutes... knead by continually pressing one palm into the center and pulling the outer edges of the dough into the center with your other hand, working in circles to make it smooth and round - keep dusting your space with flour to prevent sticking, but not so much as to make a dry dough... once thoroughly kneaded, place the dough back in the bowl/pot, cover lightly, and set aside at room temp for about 4 hours

remove risen dough onto a floured counter and begin shaping your loaves (we usually do a variety of 1 and 2 lb. pieces - this is when you add any extra ingredients as well - cinnamon and raisins, sesame, poppy seeds, herbs, etc.) - you can place shaped loaves on your counter top, with enough flour to keep from sticking, and cover them with a clean cloth or towel for 3 to 4 hours - you can also use oiled/floured bread pans, oiled bowls, or floured baskets for rising... after 3 - 3 1/2 hours, begin preheating your oven at 500° - when oven is ready place one to two loaves on your baking stone, or if you are using pans, simply put them in the oven... bake for 15 - 25 minutes, depending on loaf size and your oven... go for a nice golden brown crust - when you tap the bottom of the bread and it sounds hollow its done... cool completely + enjoy

sourdough bread should not be stored in plastic bags - and if you have no other way, at least leave an opening to allow for a little circulation - bread isn't really meant to be refrigerated (it will stale up to 6 times faster)... it is best stored in a bread box, or wrapped in a paper bag (which can be placed in a plastic bag that is slightly open to keep it from getting too dry)... a bread box is a VERY good investment if you are getting into baking... sourdough bread freezes well - wrap in a paper bag or wax paper, and place in a freezer bag - to thaw, remove bag from freezer and let it sit out at room temp - keeping the bag closed to keep in as much moisture as possible... remove from bag and warm in the oven... you can also slice your loaves and freeze them that way, taking out one slice at a time and toasting it as needed

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