I have been seeing “sourdough” quite a bit lately on some of the food blogs I check up on. There are supposedly several benefits to using sourdough (aka natural yeast) rather than commercial yeast, I won’t get into these benefits but you can research them for yourself. Seeing all these sourdough posts got me thinking, WHAT IF I RAN OUT OF YEAST? What if I could not get any more yeast? What would I do? The answer is simple, I can capture my own wild yeast by creating a sourdough starter.
There are many sourdough starter methods out there but I found a simple one that just uses water and flour. You just mix flour with water, let it sit for 12 hours and feed it flour and water again. You keep feeding it flour and water every 12 hours and about 3 days in your starter will start getting bubbles in it, this is captured wild yeast. The method I used was from ebook “Sourdough from A to Z” which is similar the process in this video (click for video) but the ebook is much better in my opinion.
I decided I had to try this in-case I needed to do it. I used freshly ground whole wheat flour from my WonderMill grain mill and in about a week I had an active sourdough starter. The process was simple, the hard part was remembering to feed it every 12 hours or so. I also found that if you keep your sourdough well fed, it will not have a sour taste.
Last night, I added half of the starter to a pizza dough recipe I have used in the past. It took a little guessing to adjust the flour and water of the recipe for the addition of my sourdough starter since it was not a sourdough recipe. I let the dough rise overnight and baked pizza for lunch the next day. It worked wonderfully and tasted great.
I am definitely going to keep my sourdough starter going and use it in some other recipes for fun. The topping for this pizza was probably the best I have tried yet, Spinach Artichoke with a homemade sauce. I’ve mentioned before that I am an artichoke lover, and I am always on the lookout for a new artichoke recipe.
Several items I used in this post are things I store in my food storage such as canned artichoke, whole wheat, water, and shredded cheese. We have also started a vegetable garden this year and our spinach is already starting to grow. Just trying to keep true to “storing what I eat and eating what I store”.
And if you ever run out of yeast you now know you can capture your own. I suggest you give it a try and become familiar to the way mankind did before commercial yeast was available.
I also shared this post on Bake Your Own Bread linkup.