When I posted 15 Soups You Really Should Try, I promised that I would talk about homemade bread. That day I found 3 different types of sourdough starter and began making them. I promise there are pictures so you can see, my Homemade Sourdough Starter Test Results.
Sourdough bread is a favorite in our house. Not only is it great with soup, but makes amazing grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. It has a great starter so it takes less work to actually prepare the bread since you’ve been working on it a little over time. The smell is heavenly. I’ve never been able to compare another bread to it.
Sourdough is actually healthier for you than any other bread. It is easily digestible since it is already broken down during the fermentation process. The gluten is broken down making it maybe even able for those who are gluten- intolerant to eat it. It breaks down the phytates opening up the availability of Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper and Iron.
In an article from The Guardian, “Sourdough is more digestible than standard loaves and more nutritious too. Lactic acids make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body by helping neutralize the phytates in flour that would interfere with their absorption. The acids slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the bloodstream and lower the bread’s glycemic index (GI), so it doesn’t cause undesirable spikes in insulin. They also render the gluten in flour more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerance.”
Which starter is best?
This is something I’ve always wondered myself. I’ve tried a starter with potato flakes, and while it is very good, it is sugar based and not the best for my family. I’ve heard great things about catching wild yeast from my friend Maureen who is part of the Westin A. Price Foundation. Finally, there is a starter that most people use. It is a basic starter that you can find in any cookbook that talks about making bread.
I decided to give all THREE a try just to see which one we love the best. Giving each one a try and starting from scratch I thought would be the only way to see what works and what is best for our family.
Here are the three recipes we tried and the websites they came from.
As you can see all are similar, but a little different to make each unique.
Easy to follow directions
This was important to me as a busy mom. I don’t have time to play around with a starter to make bread for my family, even though we need it.
The potato flake bread was done in one day and then sat in the fridge for 4 days, which was really easy. One the fourth day things began to get started for making the actual bread.
The wild yeast and homemade starter both had to be fed every day, taking about 15 minutes between the two of them. The instructions are easy to follow with each type of starter. I loved how each day I could see and smell the yeast building up in my starter.
Choosing a bread recipe
Each of these has their own unique flair for bread making, but I chose the one from Ground Beef Budget. It was similar to one I had used before and used the least amount of flour. Flour isn’t cheap especially if you are going to use bread flour, which is recommended.
I used a mixture of 3 flours for my bread and it turned out amazingly. Previously, I had purchased a 50-pound bag of white whole wheat flour from Azure Standard. I hadn’t been using it as much as I would like so I made sure to use it in my bread. My mixture for my bread was 3 cups of the whole wheat, 2 cups of All- Purpose and 1 cup of Bread Flour.
Homemade Sourdough Starter Test Results
The first bread we baked was with the wild yeast. Hot fresh from the oven it was amazing. Light where it was supposed to be light and chewy where it was supposed to be chewy. If you let it sit for a few hours you could taste the sourness start in the bread. It was dense and perfect for eating with soups and to as my Grandma used to say, “slop up the gravy,” which is what this kind of bread was originally used for. Considering we were making bread the way it was made for centuries. We ended up making 2 batches because we wanted what was left to fit in a quart jar, so that’s 6 loaves of bread.
Next, we made the Potato Flake starter, this only made 3 loaves. You don’t add as much to this starter as you do for the others, so you can only make 3 loaves at a time. This was more like what you expect from a bread. Honestly, in many ways, it tastes just like potato bread you would buy from the store. It was not as structured as the other bread, but it is still a great loaf of bread. You have to be careful what you spread on it because it is really soft.
Finally, we made the last starter, which was the homemade starter using store bought yeast. This also made 6 loaves of bread. It too came out of the oven perfectly. One loaf was devoured while it was still hot. Bread goes fast in our house. Just like the other bread after it cooled and set for a few hours you could taste the sourness of the bread. It was a great sandwich bread and made perfect loaves.
Our final choice
We came down to 2 choices. For an everyday bread, we chose the potato bread. It goes with everything. It is sweeter than the other two and one that you could just eat on your its own.
The other choice was the bread from the wild yeast. This bread is great for sandwiches, eating with soup, and any hearty meal.
So there you have it. If you try or have tried any of these bread let me know in the comments what you think. I’d love to hear from you.