Preserving sourdough starter is for those who only bake occasionally.
The sourdough starter really needs to be fed and stirred regularly, otherwise it starts to get an unpleasant smell.
For those who bake less regularly, preserving sourdough starter may be relevant. Then you will always have some on hand, even though you perhaps haven't made bread for months.
It is interesting that in all five blue zones of the world, where ten times as many people live to a zestful old age, they eat sourdough bread. It is refined carbohydrate not whole grains that are the very devil.
I confess I haven't actually tried this, but Petra is a seasoned baker, and this is her contribution. It involves spreading your active starter in a thin sheet, allowing it to dry for a few days, and then keeping it in an airtight jar.
Dough has a mind of its own so bread experiments are important to produce a loaf to your liking. For example, should the addition of salt be delayed or do you add at the same time as the sourdough starter; or even before.
Temperature is incredibly important so do not be afraid to actually measure the temperature of the water used to dissolve the salt, and see what the result is.
It takes a bit longer to hydrate and become active but this method eliminates most of the problems.
Preserving sourdough starter is simple, enabling you to keep the active agent for when it is needed, but is quite unnecessary for someone who likes fresh bread daily.
'Real' bread as it is being called is baked using 100% wholemeal with no separation of the three streams of bran, germ and endosperm.
Generally the three streams are separated, and some of the bran and germ are sold off by millers to other parties; that is where the real value is and we are left with the low quality carbohydrate.
By international law they only have to replace more than 60% in order to call it wholemeal. These refined grains, devoid of the protein, oils and fibre are highly glycemic; glucose is rapidly absorbed into the portal system giving a blood sugar surge.
Remembering that whole grains are very nutritious and good for us, we strongly encourage the use of 100% wholemeal. Bread baked using refined flour not only tastes dull but it is rapidly digested in the small intestine demanding a massive uptake of glucose by the liver.
If this oversupply of energy to the body continues, these sugars become trapped as triglycerides in the cells causing eventually non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Since 100% wholemeal is not generally available, you either have to find a local miller, or purchase an electric grinder yourself. Your bread is not only far more nutritious and good for you, but it also tastes a lot better.
Now with use of your knowledge of preserving sourdough starter you can have fresh real sourdough bread at short notice.
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