Sourdough is a bread made from the natural occurring yeast and bacteria in flour. In traditional sourdough recipes you will find 3 ingredients: sourdough starter, water and flour. There is usually no yeast, milk, oils or sweeteners. Its about as natural as you can get as far as bread goes.
So, what IS a Sourdough Starter? Its basically glue....Flour and water. Thats it. Then you just let it sit around the house and capture the wild yeasts that are in the air. This method has been around since the beginning of time and was also quite helpful during quarenteen when supplies of yeast were pretty scarce.
In order to make a sourdough bread, you need a sourdough starter. and all you need for that is 2 things:
1/2 cup all purpose flour and
1/2 cup water (non-chlorinated)***
#1 Mix the flour and water until completely combined, cover loosly then just let it sit in a warm area for 24hrs.
#2 After 24hrs you should start to see some bubbles forming. Then just add another 1/2 cup flour and 1/4cup water and stir until completely combined. It should be the consistancy of thick pancake batter. If not, add a little more flour or water. Cover loosly and let it sit another 24hrs.
#3 Now, disgard 1/2 of the starter and feed another 1/2 cup flour & 1/4 cup water. Keep repeating step 3 until your starter doubles in size severel hours after feeding it. Dont forget the disgard part or you will end up with a bathtub of starter
After 7-10 days your starter should be ready to use in receipes.
It does take time and patience, but if your not willing to wait, if your local just contact me and I will give you some of mine. I have had mine going for 2 years now. You can also make different types of starter for specific dietary needs, if your gluten free or want a whole wheat starter, you can always adjust it.
Believe it or not there are also health benefits to real sourdough bread. Sourdough is a fermented food, and like other fermented foods the proteins are broken down into amino acids so your digestive system can work better.
***the chlorine in the water can kill the micro-organizms in the yeast.