how to start a wheat-free sourdough starter

Sourdough bread is easier to digest that normal yeast-leavened bread. I guess that as the little happy bacteria are cruising around in the culture/dough, they are living off the energy gained by breaking down a lot of the difficult to digest complex molecules in the flour. This makes sourdough a must for people with digestive problems!!
All well and good for those of us who can eat wheat, but sourdough non-wheat is a hard product to come by!! So we need to make it ourselves!!
Which is actually a blessing in disguise; now we get to interact with, and maybe even capture some microbes that live in the air, more omnipresent than Jesus, less appreciated than Micheal Bay hanging around for dinner!!
In ‘starting’ a sourdough culture, we will really just be laying out a slop of ‘happy’ microbe food outside, and waiting for any passing ‘happy’ microbes wafting by to come and set up shop. Really, as the videos below suggest, we are ‘catching’ a sourdough starter!!
To do this, all you need is some (preferably whole) non-wheat flour, distilled water, a grape (to cheat with), and some plastic spoons and bowls. It is super easy. And tasty too!!
The First time I tried to make a sourdough culture, I went off written instructions on the innertoobz. It was a disaster! This time I followed these videos on youtube, presented by a super cool host!!:


It worked a charm!!
What you get from this process is called a ‘batter’ sourdough culture. There is a mesmerizing array of starter cultures, so try to stick to recipes that call for a batter starter until you get to know how your starter behaves in recipes!
I find that this recipe works really well if you add 1/2 to 1 cup extra flour, and treat the dough like normal, rather than super delicately like the dude does.
While I have only made rye and spelt versions of the recipe, I am sure that gluten free flours would actually be edible once given the luscious sour treatment of the sourdough!!
Enjoy!

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~ by maoctopus on June 14, 2011.

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