Pure Bread Sourdough
by Gwen Lund
Most sourdough bread in the U.S. is made with white flour, commercial yeast and vinegar. The vinegar gives it the sour taste. Gwen Lund shows us how to make European-style sourdough from whole grain and your own leavening. She makes it look easy and she makes me hungry. In this video you learn how to make and keep your own starter for bread that uses natural leavening and no commercial yeast.
I won’t give away the whole plot but she likes to use a baking stone with corn meal to keep the loaves from sticking to the stone. She scores the top of her loaves three times to prevent the crust from cracking during expansion in the hot oven. After baking, the loaf should be allowed to cool for several hours. It is easier to slice the next day. The details of how it is done vary somewhat depending on altitude. At lower altitudes she recommends using a basket for the bread to rise in. She has some she likes from Austria but if you’re not stopping by Austria any time soon you can probably get similar baskets wherever you are.
Gwen demonstrates several variations of sourdough bread: pumpkin seed bread, cinnamon swirl (getting hungry again), scones, focaccia, pita, tortillas, bread sticks, and crackers. They all look good and I give this video a thumbs UP. Just don’t watch it when you’re hungry.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2011.