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5 Reasons You Should Always Keep Sourdough Starter Onhand

Sourdough bread made with delicous sourdough starter.
5 Reasons to always keep sourdough bread on hand.

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Delicious Bread That Doesn’t Require Yeast

The number one reason to always keep sourdough starter is it enables you to make delicious bread without the use of yeast. Really, I should be able to stop right there. The ability to make homemade bread without depending on store-bought yeast or any other leavening is a must in these uncertain times. With sourdough starter you will never be left scrambling to find a way to bake bread for your family.

Sourdough Bread is Nutritious

Fermentation is good for gut health. The sourdough starter eats the simple sugars in the bread, meaning your body doesn’t have to. Because of this, it is the superior choice for diabetics. My mom has Type II Diabetes and her nutritionist advises her to eat only sourdough bread for this reason.

The long fermentation process of sourdough breaks down gluten into enzymes and makes it easier for our bodies to digest. The acidity of the sourdough also delays the growth of mold, meaning it can be kept on the shelf longer, without preservatives.

It’s a Piece of History: Our Country is Built on Sourdough Starter

Sourdough bread bowls. My mom's sourdough is more than 100 years old!
Renee, Neal, and David in Alaska circa 1979

During the gold rush, miners from San Francisco to Alaska survived by keeping their sourdough alive. Stories passed down through generations talk about men valuing their sourdough starter above all else. The would sleep with it at night to keep it warm and carry it in their shirts during the day.

When I was a kid growing up in Alaska old men who homesteaded and lived in the bush were called Sourdoughs. The high nutrient content of the bread meant for many people it literally was the bread of life.

Baking with Sourdough Starter is Easy

DIY sourdough starter uses only flour, sugar, and water.

I’ll admit, I resisted the idea of making overnight sourdough bread for a long time. Overnight seemed like way too much work…to much of a time commitment. After sucessfully making sourdough biscuits, pancakes, and bread (that still included yeast along with the sourdough) I decided to give it a try.

Much to my surprise, overnight sourdough bread was much easier to make than traditional bread! Yes, it is required to sit overnight, but it also requires no real recipe, and no kneading.

Sourdough Bread has a Distinct, Chewy Texture That Can’t be Replicated

Beginner sourdough guide with sourdough recipes

In my opinion, there is nothing quite as delicious as the tangy, earthy taste of true sourdough bread. Traditional sourdough bread (like you might get at a resturaunt or from a specialty bakery) is chewy with large air bubbles. This bread is hearty and makes delicious toast, sandwiches, grilled cheese, and is a treat to it all by itself.

In order to get the chewy texture of traditional sourdough, you will need to cook it in a dutch oven. The reason is, you need to bake it with a lid on so that it steams the bread while it bakes. My parents bought me this dutch oven for my birthday last year and it immediately became an essential tool in my kitchen.

I use this dutch oven to mix my bread, to house my bread while it rises, and to bake my sourdough bread. In addition, it is now my go-to pot for soups and stews. I use this dutch oven nearly every day. I also love the idea that it is perfect for cooking over an open fire while camping.

Other Sourdough Resources

If you are new to the idea of sourdough, be sure and check out my Sourdough Guide for Beginners. Here are my favorite sourdough products. You might also enjoy, Cultures of Health post: Introduction to Sourdough.

Other No-Yeast Breads to Bake

If you are interested in other ways to bake bread without yeast (and I think these are useful skills we should all learn) check out the recipes below.

Salt-Rising Bread– . Salt rising bread is dense and white, with a fine crumb and cheese-like flavor.

Old-Fashioned Salt-Rising Bread

Irish Soda Bread

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