Sleeping Sourdough

I woke up the sourdough starter that had been sleeping at the back of my fridge this weekend.I had got into the habit of making this bread a while ago, but as often happens with good habits in busy lives, it had fallen by the wayside and I had started eating more shop-bought sliced bread. Although I always try to choose good quality bread, like many of the people I speak to, I did start to notice the unwelcome effect of more slices in my daily diet. Even good quality bread is a heavily processed food, and often has a lot of added ingredients. Many people report that eating it makes them feel bloated or uncomfortable. Often this is attributed to gluten sensitivity, but sometimes changing to homemade bread can in some cases make a positive difference.

A WholeHealth client reminded me about the deliciousness of sourdough. I knew the starter was in the fridge, but I thought it would probably be beyond the pale, having been hibernating for a good few months…So I was amazed to see it leap into life and start bubbling almost immediately as it warmed up and I ‘fed’ it with a little water and flour. I had to refer back to the recipe to remind myself how it was done, but by Sunday evening, warm bread smells were wafting from the kitchen, and a loaf was ready for Monday morning.

This bread has none of the ‘downsides’ of commercially produced bread, and once you’ve made your first one, it’s pretty easy, honest. It has only four ingredients: flour, water, a little oil and salt. It’s delicious, and really filling, so it’s less tempting to overeat than the airy type of bread you buy pre-sliced. As I try not to eat too much bread, and just a slice is so satisfying, a loaf can last a while  once it’s made. I often slice and freeze half a loaf so I can just get a slice out when I want it.

Sourdough is really  expensive to buy. I have seen these priced at over a fiver at ‘artisan foods’ markets! Why not try making your own? I used Hugh’s recipe to get started. It’s an investment in terms of the time involved, but for me it is well worth it.

Don’t forget the therapeutic effect of ‘growing’ your own bread. Kneading the dough, watching it rise, and the delicious smells of baking are all rewards in themselves. Creating your own sourdough is something to really be proud of,  and an exciting process to go through. Well, certainly for a food-geek like me. I’m not ashamed!

My post training spinach and poached eggs on sourdough toast today was flippin near perfect.

“The only pleasures in life are the simple pleasures”

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