Sourdough is a method of leavening bread. As opposed to most store-brought bread, sourdough doesn’t use any commercial yeast to rise. Instead it uses a “starter” of fermented flour and water to raise bread. You can use sourdough to make just about any baked good (breads, pancakes, crepes, biscuits, crackers, rolls, cookies, etc…). If you maintain a sourdough starter, you will never run out. The process of sourdough is an ancient tradition used in cultures all over the world. Commercial yeast (dry active/instant) was not invented until the mid 1800s and didn’t become popular until the 1900s. Before this, everyone used sourdough starter for baking leavened bread. Baking with sourdough is a simple process, but it does take some extra time.
Health Benefits of Sourdough
- The fermentation process “pre-digests” the gluten in sourdough bread, making it easy for our bodies to digest
- Keeps you full for longer
- Full of probiotics
- Eating sourdough bread lowers the glycemic index – not only for the meal you are eating but (scientists believe) even for the next several meals.
- Sourdough neutralizes phytic acid (which reduces absorption of nutrients) found in grains – allowing your body to get more of those nutrients.
What Sourdough Recipes Should I Start With?
I have so many good sourdough recipes on my site! There are lots of recipes for sourdough breads and recipes that use up sourdough discard. I recommend starting with an artisan bread recipe or even my favorite sourdough sandwich bread.