I was given a sourdough starter a few months ago, with a hand-written set of directions that I didn’t really understand. Thinking it probably wasn’t rocket science, I fed my sourdough and tried my best to take care of it, but it was all just a bit much. Such a generous person, I wanted to share my sourdough starter so I put a mason jar of the fed starter in the cupholder in the console of my car, where it exploded and ran down the sides of the console and filled the cupholders. Good times, I tell ya! Needless to say, I threw the sourdough in the trash and decided to wait until I was a little more mature and able to handle the sourdough responsibility.
I’ve been reading about sourdough a lot and learning so many great things! First, sourdough is the original bread leavening. Natural yeast or sour leavening helps break down phytic acid in grains, which helps the body digest the nutrients in the grain. Instant yeast does not break down the phytic acid, which doesn’t allow for any of the nutrients in grain to be used, leading to problems digesting gluten. There is an awesome series of articles about sour leavening and using sprouted and soaked grains for better digestion on a blog I love called “Weedem and Reap.” Here’s the most recent link, which has a list of links included: http://www.weedemandreap.com/recipe-homemade-bread/. Let me know what you think!
Some bakeries have sourdough starters that are so secret and so flavorful that people actually try to steal them. The art and science of sourdough is fascinating!!!
So, I ordered a very simple and easy to manage sourdough starter from King Arthur and I started feeding it on Monday and by Wednesday, I had enough to try a recipe and enough starter to share with a friend. This time I put it in a much larger jar! The dough takes a lot longer to raise than instant yeast, so I had to cut it short, and it was still an awesome texture and taste. The starter was $7.95 and shipped via UPS. When I need it, I feed it before school and let it set out on the counter, loosely covered all day. Feeding it involves a 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and a cup of unbleached flour. When I don’t need it, it hangs out in the fridge and needs stirred, dumped (by half) and fed once a week.
I can't wait to continue to experiment with the sourdough! I will be trying it with whole wheat flour, for stromboli, pretzels and bread!
- Prep Time : 1h 30 min
- Cook Time : 10 minutes
- Yield : 2 pizzas
- Allergens : gluten
Dissolve and bloom the instant yeast in the warm water. Add the sourdough starter, salt and flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. Turn the dough out into a medium sized bowl, coated with EVOO. Cover with a clean towel. Let raise for one hour. Preheat the grill and paint the grates with EVOO. Punch the dough down and let raise again for 1/2 hour. Preheat the broiler to 550 degrees F. Flatten and grill the sourdough pizza crust on high, each side for about 4 - 5 minutes, until puffy and done through. Remove the cooked crust and top. I used my Simple Tomato Sauce and mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, local sausage and organic bacon from Savage River Farm. Cook the pizza for 2 1/2 minutes under the broiler. So good!!!