We had one of our regular Saturday homesteading workshops here today. This was the third workshop of a four-part "cultured kitchen" series which included four classes about creating live cultured foods at home - sauerkraut/kimchi, yogurt making, and sourdough bread (and apple cider vinegar is coming in the fall).
During today's workshop we walked through the steps of making and maintaining a sourdough starter, proofing the starter before bread baking (at least 8-12 hours), making the dough, and shaping loaves. We were working with real sourdough (not preferments or recipes that use commercial yeast) - so ingredients are basic and wholesome - organic hard bread flour, cool filtered water, sea salt, and wild yeast! The process really is quite simple, it's just a matter of making it part of a regular rhythm of your own weekly kitchen activities.
Participants made their own sourdough starters to take home (which now need to be fed for the next 10 days, and maintained after). We also sampled two sourdough breads I had made the night before, so that participants could see the full range of bread making from start (starter) to finish (eating) but still fit this all - a normally 2 day experience - into a 2 hour class. We tried sesame caraway rye (made with a 100% organic rye starter); and wholegrain country sourdough loaf with millet & sunflower seeds. Here are photos of the bread baking after today's workshop.