For us, the journey to making sourdough bread from scratch, at home, has been an experience filled with happy tastebuds and new challenges! I never entertained the idea of making sourdough bread from scratch, myself, let alone feeding my little family with it, but it has been so rewarding!
Sourdough was always one of those things for me that I viewed as something “I was not capable of doing”.
It was always just a treat when we bought an authentic loaf from the farmers market or the local natural store.
Love the taste, love the nutritional quality, love that my body can tolerate it well…
Out of the many realizations I had throughout the season of Covid quarantine, making sourdough at home from scratch, was and is my favorite.
Unless it comes down to an emergency or we need to feed a big group of people, I will no longer be buying bread from the store. Why would I when I can make a much healthier (and cost effective) bread at home that is so tasty?
But here’s the kicker… and hopefully a comforting word to you- the journey wasn’t straightforward for me!
I was inspired to create my own starter initially by a Youtuber I follow online, but I didn’t begin my journey until my mother in law told me she started hers and was super excited about the process.
I still remember the moment.. my husband and I were on the phone with his parents and when the conversation was purely on sourdough, I almost couldn’t wait to hang up so that I could go mix some flour and water together to create my very own starter from scratch.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned while doing my research during this process was this: “sourdough is resilient”.
This means that it takes a lot to fail.
So here I was in my kitchen that night mixing my first batch of water and flour together to watch my starter grow and flourish.
Fast forward three days and I had a starter that smelt rancid and had a little dollop on top that looked like mold…
Yep, you heard me. I fell into the 5% that kill their sourdough starter!
It didn’t stop me. That day I started two new starters. Two!
I quickly realized that maintaining two sourdough starters was excessive and very unnecessary, so I gave one to a friend and yes, it is thriving in her house!
There are a couple of things I was told to keep in mind as I waited for my starter to develop and ferment: 1) Temperature has a huge effect on how fast your starter grows and develops and 2) patience is everything and you can’t give up just because it looks, smells, or seems a little “off”.
I won’t lie, impatience got the best of me at one point and I switched my flour to whole wheat to hopefully “boost” the growth of my starter. It did indeed boost the growth due to the higher content of protein.
My starter came alive and began bubbling and doubling in size within 24 hours.
Once my starter was active and ready to be used, I wasted no time in making my first loaf! Let me tell you, that loaf tasted like heaven but looked like… well you know.
There was nothing “pretty” or “fluffy” about it, but I continued on!
I ended up switching my recipe to one that I use regularly, and it turns out amazing every single time.
Aside from learning that my oven doesn’t seem to get as hot as it should at the temperature set, there have been no issues and I have been enjoying baking, scoring and learning every single day.
I told my husband, “if I could just be a stay at home wife and bake you bread everyday all day… I would!”
The art and satisfaction of creating sourdough loaves from scratch has been my absolutely favorite new journey to walk.
It is peaceful. It is satisfying. It brings comfort knowing exactly what is in the bread I am consuming. It is also encouraging to know that my body can handle and properly digest this bread well.
Needless to say, this household is on a sourdough journey and we are loving every taste of it!
If you are considering beginning this journey yourself, let me remind you of the very crucial piece of advice I received when I began… Sourdough is resilient. You might feel like you have failed temporarily when you first begin but I can assure you that if you keep going, you will be better for it and you will learn quickly that this is an adaptable process in which you can make however you choose!
Enjoy the process!
Until next time,