Falling in Love with Sourdough Bread

What’s Inside: In this post, I want to share this incredible sourdough journey of mine with you. We’ll learn how sourdough bread works – the science and the fun parts. We’ll also explore how making bread can teach us important lessons about being patient and not giving up. So, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, put on an apron, and dive into the world of sourdough baking, then let’s get started!

Have you ever wondered what makes sourdough bread more healthy than the loaves you find at the grocery store? Well, I did too, and that’s how my adventure with baking sourdough bread started.

This process is not just about making any bread – it’s about creating something special, a little tangy, chewy, and crispy all at once.

Think about this: flour and water come together, and something magical happens. They turn into dough, and with time, they become bread! But there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Sourdough bread dough

I was curious, so I decided to learn the secrets behind making sourdough bread. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a wonderful journey.

At first, it was all about getting the basics right. I had to learn how to make something called a “starter,” which is the bread’s magic ingredient. It took time and patience, but it was worth it. The more I practiced, the better I got at it. Mixing the dough, shaping it, and watching it rise – it all felt like a beautiful dance.

And the best part? The delicious smell that filled my kitchen when the bread was baking.

But what truly amazed me was that each loaf had its own story. The way it looked, the way it tasted – all of it was unique. I started getting creative, trying different flours and recipes to find the right method for me.

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What Makes Sourdough Bread Special?

The Science

Sourdough bread is a delicious, healthier alternative to bread you find at most grocery stores. It uses a sourdough starter (flour and water, fermented) as a leavening agent as opposed to other bread that uses yeast.

Sourdough Starter

A sourdough starter is a mix of flour, water, and naturally occurring yeast and bacteria. It’s like the heart of your bread-making adventure, helping your dough rise and giving your bread that special taste we all love.

As you keep using and feeding (which means adding flour and water) your starter, it becomes a powerful tool in your baking journey, making your sourdough bread a masterpiece!

Then, when you have an active starter that bubbles up when you feed it, you can use it, along with flour, water, and salt to make nutritious, fermented bread.

The starter can also be used to make many other tasty recipes.

The Fun Part

Many people find the process of making their own sourdough bread enjoyable and even rejuvenating. It’s an art, like a lot of baking, that you can craft and enjoy, learn and grow, and figure out what techniques you like the most.

This recent sourdough phenomenon took off around the 2020 pandemic when people were spending more time at home. Many tried their hands at doing more cooking and baking at home.

2 sourdough bread loaves

But it’s not a new technique by any means. It’s the way bread was made for thousands of years before the modern west made food highly processed and readily available in grocery stores for a cheap price. And like I said before, they replaced the natural leavening and fermentation process with yeast.

Making your own loaf is like a delicious experiment that you get to eat! As you mix your starter with more flour and water to create the dough, you get to watch as the dough transforms and becomes stretchy and smooth under your hands.

Then comes the exciting waiting game as the dough rests and rises.

But the real magic happens when you shape the dough into a loaf, giving it your personal touch.

As you slide your creation into the oven, the aroma that fills your home is lovely.

*A Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

And the best part? When you finally cut into that golden, crusty masterpiece, revealing the soft, airy inside – it’s a moment of pure satisfaction and accomplishment.

My Story: The Joy of Making Sourdough Bread

I’m Suzanne, a writer here at Just Homemaking and a homemaker, wife, and mom of 4. I love to talk about Christian Homemaking, Healthy Living, and find commonality with other moms who are learning and growing in all things faith and family.

My husband would occasionally ask me to buy him sourdough bread at the grocery store. He had read about the health benefits and is always making changes to be healthier.

*Proofing Baskets & Sourdough Starter Kit

He tried talking me into baking some at home and I quickly shot him down, thinking how long it takes to bake bread and not realizing the amazing health benefits.

Eventually, I gave in after seeing a few Youtube videos from Farmhouse on Boone. She made the process seem so beautiful and simple!

Love of Sourdough Bread

The joy of making sourdough bread surprised me as I’ve learned, cared for, and spent time over the past couple years making a sourdough starter and learning the ups and downs of baking sourdough bread.

I’ve loved baking since I was a child and have also been striving to switch a lot of my family’s food to healthier choices in the past few years. **Keep reading to learn all the health benefits of using sourdough starter!

Did the last few years open your eyes to learn about all the things Americans consume that are bad for our health, too?

When we learn more about how people used to eat (100+ years ago) we see how healthy, simple, and beautiful making your own food from home can be.

I decided to get back to the roots of bread making and learn how to do it for myself. I knew I didn’t like the ingredients on the labels at the grocery store and wanted a better alternative.

In my journey so far, I’ve grown a sourdough starter from scratch (which took me a couple tries), found two sourdough bread recipes I love and can make without fail, and have gone further to buy a flour mill and gain all the crazy health benefits that come with freshly milled flour.

NutriMill Classic Grain Mill

Failure along the way is just part of the process. It takes time and understanding of the starter and learning what the bread looks like in all its stages.

Please don’t be discouraged by an occasional step backward, the bread will come in time.

My sourdough journey will continue, and I’m sure I’ll learn new things that I can change and develop, but it has been such a fun and encouraging journey to be on!

Not Enough Time to Bake Sourdough Bread?

Moms, wives, and homemakers are always sitting around bored, right?

We all know that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are always a million things to do…yet many women are still choosing to go back to traditional sourdough bread making.

Sliced sourdough bread

The process of making your own loaf of sourdough bread can take two or more days, but there are wonderful benefits that come from caring for a sourdough starter, and making sourdough bread from it.

The main reasons I choose to spend time baking sourdough bread are:

  • Health benefits
  • Value of homemade food for my family
  • Living a self-sufficient lifestyle
  • It’s a beautiful process
  • Simple once you learn how to do it
  • A beautiful gift for friends

Once you have a starter and learn the sourdough bread process, it actually only takes a few minutes here and there throughout your day to tend to the bread.

Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread

  1. Easy on the Stomach: For those who struggle with gluten sensitivity, sourdough bread offers a gentle alternative. Through the natural fermentation process, gluten is partially broken down, making it easier to digest without sacrificing taste.
  2. Healthier Blood Sugar Regulation: Sourdough’s lower glycemic index ensures a steadier rise in blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking to manage diabetes or maintain stable energy throughout the day.
  3. Nourishment with Every Bite: The fermentation process not only enhances nutrient availability but also produces beneficial organic acids and gut-friendly bacteria. It’s a wholesome option that promotes a healthier gut environment.
  4. Longer Shelf Life, Naturally: Unlike commercial bread loaded with preservatives, sourdough’s natural acidity extends its shelf life while maintaining a clean ingredient list of just flour, water, and salt.

Sourdough Recipes to Get You Started

Make a Sourdough Starter – you can make your own starter or buy one that’s ready for you.

Beginner’s Sourdough Bread Recipe – I start this recipe in the morning.

Overnight Sourdough Bread – I start this recipe in the evening.

Another Step Further: Milling Your Own Wheat for Bread

Milling your own wheat to make flour isn’t a necessary part to making sourdough bread, but it’s one that adds so many vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants to your loaves.

*Nutrimill Classic Grain Mill

How does milling your wheat from home add these health benefits?

Wheat kernels have tiny parts called bran and germ that are packed with nutrients and flavor. When you mill your own wheat, you keep these goodies right in your flour, making it super wholesome.

Once the wheat is milled into flour, you have to use the flour within 24 hours, or it begins to lose its huge health benefits.

Freshly Milled Flour in my Nutrimill Classic
*Freshly Milled Flour from my Nutrimill Classic

The flour you buy in a grocery store has the bran and germ removed so it can be more shelf stable. The problem with this is, the flour loses all of the tremendous benefits of vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.

That’s why bread isn’t considered a healthy food anymore, because they’ve removed all the good parts!

So if you’re wanting to bulk up the health benefits of your homemade bread and other recipes that include flour, I encourage you to buy a Nutrimill and begin milling fresh flour from home.

Whole Wheat Berries
*Whole Wheat Kernels/Berries

The Art of Making Sourdough Bread

Baking your own sourdough bread takes time, care, understanding, and some failure along the way. But once we take that time to slow down, give this task our care, learn how it works over time, and get it right, then we can thoroughly enjoy a toasted, buttered piece of sourdough bread.

But it ends up being about so much more than enjoying the slice of bread. It becomes a skill you have. It is nourishment for the bodies in your home. The process allows you to take the time, slow down, stay home, and know exactly where your food is coming from.

It’s an art…always changing and new each time.

It’s a skill that connects you with the past

It’s a gift you give to those going through a difficult time, or just to say I love you.

Sourdough bread sliced

Now you can see why so many have fallen in love with baking sourdough bread.

**Please drop a comment below and share why you love making sourdough bread.

Falling in Love with Sourdough Bread

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