Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sourdough Spelt Flat-bread

Quite an interesting experiment in the kitchen. A good friend Laura Puopolo gave me a jar of sourdough starter (which I mistakenly opened prematurely) this past weekend. Her brother began the "mother" starter a little while back, halved the amount and passed it on to Laura, who halved her amount and passed it on to me! The wonderful thing about a sourdough is that it is actually a living food. By "feeding" the mixture every week with flour and water, you are promoting the growth of the bacteria (Lactobacillus) inhibited by the yeast content in the soupy mixture. Of course, once the bread is baked, you are killing the living organisms (unlike eating them live in yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, miso, etc.) but what's left behind is their distinctive sour-sweet, fermented taste and the leavening of the baked dough.
I'm still experimenting with how to adjust recipes around the local spelt flour I have been using. I'm finding that it takes longer to rise, and even so, it remains more dense after baking (which I quite like). The bread making is a work in progress.

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