What is sourdough
Sourdough is a dough that works as natural fermentation for baking bread, pizza and other derived products. It can be used nstead of chemical yeasts or in combination with it. It is a living dough, where lactic bacteria live and feed and produce acids and gasses that make your bread tasty, soft and nutricious.
During our workshop, we focus on working with 100% sourdough, without adding any other kind of yeast. This choice gives better tasting bread, and bread that is easier to digest, even for those who have gluten intollerance.
If you want to make your own sourdough at home, from scratch, you can find many online tutorials with different approaches and set of rules and it is easy to get lost!
We recommend you to just start (if you fail, try again) with the following, and remember that the most important direction is to observe what is happening in your starter.
How to make your own sourdough
Equal parts of fresh locally milled rye flour and tab water at room temperature (for example, 20 grams of each).
1. Mix it and leave it for one or two days at room temperature, in a glass jar and covered with a kitchen towel.
2. When you see fermentation (bubbles!), start feeding your starter every day by doubling the total amount of starter with fresh rye flour and tab water.
3. After a week, you can move your starter to the fridge and feed it every other day.
4. After a month, you can start baking your own 100% sourdough bread!
Where to get the best ingredients
When you bake your own bread, it is essential to the process and to the final results that you use the best, most fresh ingredients available. Store bought flour is NOT. Luckily, in the Netherlands fresh locally milled flour is largely available, both online and close to your house.
Here's an overview of most mills per region: http://molenaarsgilde.nl/molen-in-de-buurt.
For online shopping, home delivery and a wide range of products, both local and imported, I recommend De Zuidmolen.
Conversion from yeast to sourdough
If you want to bake your favorite sweets and loafs with sourdough, but your recipe includes yeast, it is quite easy to convert to a new recipe. Instead of looking at yeast quantity, look at the total weight of flour in your recipe and start from there! Each sourdough is different, so is each kitchen, so decide the quantity of sourdough based on your previous experience and bread baking routine. A good ratio is 10-15% of sourdough (take the weight of flour as reference).
For example, in a recipe that calls for 500 g of flour, to use 15% of sourdough means to use 15% of 500 g of sourdough, which means 75 g. So, 75 g of sourdough will be added to 500 g of flour and to the rest of the ingredients.
Dont forget to adjust rising times as well! When you replace yeast with sourdough, it will take much longer for your dough to rise. Also, take into account how much water is in your sourdough, since this will affect the final consistency of your dough.