The air is full of yeasts/bacteria. Flour is food to these yeasts. Liquid is necessary for “chemistry to happen”. You are capturing the yeasts in your own environment and you are feeding them flour and water which results in rapid multiplication. You will use some “Starter “ each time you make your bread and you will replenish the “starter” by adding a little flour and water to your jar. The jar is stored in the fridge where the activity is slowed down to a “sleeping” state. When you expose this starter to warmth (room temperature) and add food (flour) and fluid, it will get active and you will have a batter from which to fry pancakes or a baked “wet loaf” (no kneading) or a kneaded loaf of bread.
A jar, flour, filtered water
Day 1: mix 3 heaping dessert- spoons each of flour and water. Stir and see bubbles emerge on top. Let Stand for 9 hours.
Day 2: Add another 3 heaping dessert- spoons of flour and water. Stir and let stand for another 9 hours.
Day 3: Starter is ready to use. If not using immediately, Add another 3 heaping dessert- spoons of flour and water. Stir and cap and store in fridge.
Put a blop (1/4 cup) of the starter into a big bowl. (Stir about 3 heaping dessert- spoons of flour and some water into the starter jar and pop it back in the fridge.)
Add 3 cups each of flour and filtered water (or leftover tea, juice, milk, whey, yogurt) to your big bowl. Cover the batter bowl with a tea towel or bees wax wrap and put it out of the way for about 9 hours. When you see that your batter has grown and is bubbly (active to sight and smell) then it is ready for the next stage. If you need more time before working with it, pop it in the fridge to arrest growth.
(If it gets too sour smelling, add some flour and a wee bit of sweet mashed banana or honey or shredded apple . It is not unusable. It just needs an adjustment. That’s why I call it ‘forgiving’ sourdough. )
If Desired Add:
A splash or 1 dessert spoons of oil (sunflower, coconut, olive, macadamia, butter)
1 dessert spoons of : honey, molasses or maple syrup, jam etc.
A teaspoon of sea salt.
1 tablespoons of Lemon or other juice, whey, vinegar, yogurt, etc.
Any extras such as a sprinkle of dried or fresh herbs, fruits, grated carrots, left over cooked rice/porridge, nuts, seeds, rose petals etc. Have fun!!
Pour a splash of oil in iron pan and allow to heat. Put a spoon of batter in the pan ( for each pancake) and allow to cook until there are lots of air holes indicating that it is cooking through. Flip and cook for 5 more minutes. No toppings are needed but avocado or maple syrup are lovely embellishments.
Wet Loaf Method:
Add 3 cups of flour to the batter. (Any grains: ie. wheat, kamut, spelt, rice, millet, corn, barley, oats.) When you have stirred up a nice thick batter, then pour it in to a greased bread tin. Leave a 1/4 of your pan for bread rising room. Let it sit for a 2 hour rise. If you are going to let it rise longer then put it in the fridge to continue. When you are ready to bake, put the loaf pan into a cold oven on the lower rack. 180c for 90 minutes.
(If you have left over batter can use immediately for pancakes or it can be used as starter for another time and store it in the fridge.)
Add 6 cups of flour to the batter and stir. Sprinkle flour on counter and knead dough until you have a loaf shape. Put your good caring into your bread as you knead. You are making your bread digestible. You are doing the work with your hands that will help your gut when it digests the bread. When the dough is as soft as your ear lobe it is ready.
Put your loaf in a greased or floured pan, leaving a 1/4 of the pan for bread rising. Put loaf in the oven on the lower rack. (180c for 60 minutes)
You can bake right away or you can wait 2 hours. If you are waiting longer than 2 hours then keep rising in the fridge. If the dough is looking explosive/abundant then bake immediately or put it in the fridge to arrest. If you wait too long the rise will fall and you need to knead it again with more flour. When baked: Let sit in pan for 10 minutes so it contracts/solidifies. OR run a knife around the bread and bop on the bottom of the pan till it falls onto your bread- board. Let it cool 30 min (at least) before slicing.
“I have loved making sourdough since your course, thank you for being so down to earth and making it feel easy!” – Sophie December 2019
Excerpt from Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School Newsletter – 19 March 2018.
“Class 4 were very busy this week preparing bread, making corn dolls and erecting a hand-made fence for their garden. They were ably assisted in their endeavours by Grace Aloisio, Kathy Thangathurai, Elizabeth Ellean and Sandra Frain.”