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In support of sourdough

Angela and Sam introduce the benefits of sourdough and show off their starters, sour puss and Steve the Starter. Notice their great aprons. Photo credit: Katie Fedosenko.

In the age of Gluten-free and Paleo diets, grains are getting a bad reputation. While many grains, such as wheat, are commonly processed with harmful chemicals and stored improperly, not all grains made are the same. Nutritional consultant Angela from The Art of Eating is standing up for the humble seed.

Angela and her colleague Sam, founder of The Box, ran a Sourdough Starter workshop at in Brisbane’s eclectic West End neighborhood on March 4.

Sourdough bread starts with three simple ingredients: wheat grains soaked overnight, wholegrain wheat flour and water. Starters are stored in glass or plastic containers at room temperature and fed daily with flour and water for four days until they are activated. Starters are then stored in the refrigerator and fed once weekly.

I attended the workshop because I’m interested in preparing clean and nourishing food for a healthy body and bank account. I went home with my own starter, ‘The Sour Patch Kid’, and better understanding of bread.

What’s good about making your own sourdough?

My starter, the sour patch kid. Photo credit: Katie Fedosenko.

  • Sourdough is often easier to digest because the culture partially breaks down the flour used to make the dough.
  • Eating sourdough made with flours such as spelt, kamut and rye can prolong the sensation of fullness because of the high fibre content.
  • If you’re using organic flours, there will be no additives, colouring or preservatives in your sourdough.
  • Sourdough is vegan.
  • Sourdough can be made with a variety of flours including rye, spelt and kamut. Dried fruit, herbs or nuts can be added to flavour the bread.

Angela and Sam shared nine recipes for sourdough including: white macadamia; rye, caraway and semi-dried tomatoes; and hazelnut and apricot breakfast bread. Here’s one of the recipes generously contributed by Angela.

Recipe: Balsamic Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Sourdough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 2 cups of wholegrain flour
  • 1 cup of culture
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sprig of rosemary

Method

Slice onion in rings and sauté with olive oil, brown sugar and balsamic on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until soft.

Line a ceramic or Pyrex dish with baking paper. Alternatively, grease it with oil and dust with flour.

In a plastic or glass bowl, mix a cup of culture and a cup of water. Add the salt and stir with a wooden spoon.

Place the flour in a separate bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour the liquid into the well. Add the caramelized onion and rosemary and stir the dough until well combined. Don’t be afraid to use your hands and elbow grease to ensure the dough is smooth. Since you’re using culture, there’s no need to kneed.

Put the dough into the prepared dish, cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot overnight or for eight hours so the dough can rise.

Once risen, your sourdough will be ready bake in the oven. Preheat the oven to 200-220 degrees Celsius and bake the dough for an hour until it forms a golden-brown crust.

The bread lasts for up to five days. Slice and freeze your bread to store it for longer.

Recipe credit: The Art of Eating.

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Tags: baking, , Food, grains, , recipe, sourdough

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