By Sarah Wolter
What is Sour Dough?
The make of sourdough is as old as the art of making bread itself. For thousands of years households have used flour and water, waited for the mixture to ferment, and when it was sour and full of gas, used it as leavening to make dough rise.
In the 1800’s Louis Pasteur was able to show that fermentation was caused by microbes which then led to the commercial production of baker's yeast which is used today as it speeds up the process by pumping carbon dioxide into dough with a great outcome of soft, fluffy risen bread that we all enjoy!
The well respected and age-old art of slow bread making through sour dough starter has however apparently had a new rise to fame and popularity during the COVID lockdowns.
Sourdough is a product of natural fermentation involving wild yeasts and bacteria. Almost all the bacteria are lactobacilli, cousins of the bacteria that curdle milk into yogurt and cheese and the acids they make that give sourdough its tartness and familiar flavour.
Keeping a sourdough culture alive requires good time management and something like affection and a well-fed culture can last years.
It makes sense that during lockdown the making of sour dough has become a fun hobby for all the family to not only enjoy being part of, but also have the time to give it the attention it needs. It is a great thing for people of all ages but especially the kids, to see the process right from the start through to making of delicious, fresh warm bread that fills the house with that gorgeous smell.
Might be something you want to give a go!