Fermented sourdough bread is alchemy, a dance, a symbiotic relationship between wild yeasts and lactobacilli. It is simple, yet complex, and brings about the fabled stuff of life.It is simple because all one needs to create sourdough bread is a starter, created by mixing equal parts flour and water; then leaving the mixture on the kitchen counter for three days. This mixture attracts wild yeasts and lactobacilli that are in the air in ratios that allows both to survive while minimizing or defeating other invaders. Absolutely amazing! Here is the starting point of good bread, but the complex dance is just about to begin.
Over two days, via time, temperature and intuition, the dough progresses from a mix of flour, water, starter and salt to a tasty loaf of bread. During this process enzymes are released that break starch down to sugars on which the yeast and lactobacilli feed. In turn the wild yeasts create carbon dioxide gas to make the bread rise. The enzymes release more flavor from the wheat while freeing the essential nutrients hidden deep inside. This fermentation or pre digestion makes the resulting bread flavorful and very easy to digest.
This is a simple explanation of a complex process. It is still magic to me. We rise early on Thursday mornings to mix the dough that will become the sourdough bread that you enjoy on Saturday morning. We repeat this process before 5 a.m. Monday mornings in order to deliver fresh sourdough bread on Wednesday mornings. I love guiding the process and hope that you enjoy the end result!