Ancient Foods,  Ancient Grains,  Baking,  Breads,  Culinary History,  Fermenting,  Food History,  Health,  History

Alaskan Sourdough

You wouldn’t think it, but making sourdough is a unique and interesting way to preserve food. Sourdough bread is basically fermented flour and grain. Its health benefits have proven to be abundant including being more nutritious than regular bread, having more vitamins and minerals, and being full of protein. The fermentation of the flour allows our bodies to more easily absorb and digest the nutrients that we need from the grain.

The history of sourdough stretches back all the way to ancient times where Egyptians became the first people to use sourdough in their baking. It was the most common way to make bread until baker’s dried yeast was invented. Sourdough is made by creating a good place, with flour and water, for the wild yeast in the air around us to live.

In America, sourdough became beloved during the Klondike and California Gold Rushes. The miners often took sourdough pots along with them. Very often, they survived on the bread they made from it. They even became known as “sourdoughs” because they ate so much of it!

Learning to use, feed and care for a sourdough is a steady learning process. As you learn about the sourdough and constantly feed it and use it, you can become rather attached to it! I have heard of some people who have named their sourdoughs. There are even some sourdoughs that are over 100 years old in the world today!

I have been experimenting with sourdough for over a year now, and I have to say, it is one of the most interesting kitchen experiments I have ever done! It is very versatile and can be used for more than bread. There are many recipes for sourdough donuts, pretzels and even chocolate cake out there!

If you are interested in learning more, I recommend this book, Wild Bread, as an excellent resource!

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