Friday, October 05, 2007

Adventures in Sourdough

I recently read somewhere (a link I sadly lost) that the Candida Society now recommends that sufferers just avoid sugar where possible, as the prohibitions of the hardcore anti-Candida diet make it too difficult to stick too - there could be some wisdom there! Anyway, while I was at home over the summer, I ate a great deal of sourdough bread (leavened with 'natural' yeasts) with no significant 'side-effects', so I decided - as a little diversionary project - to 'grow my own'. :)

The website I used was this one. It gives easy to follow instructions on how to create a sourdough starter and how to bake with it. Unlike a lot of other websites and recipes I found, this recipe does not use added yeast or sugar as a booster. All you need is rye flour (chosen because it ferments more quickly than other flours), wholemeal strong bread flour, water, salt and a lot of patience.

Day one

I probably chose the wrong time of year to start, so it took a little longer than it might usually to get nice and bubbly. I only have a tiny (shared) kitchen, so I chose to keep the starter in my bedroom where I could control the ambient temperature more easily. But, the fact it is a rather chilly room, probably retarded the starter, so the whole process described on the website took around twelve days, before the starter was ready to bake with.

Hubble, bubble...

But, as you can see, it was well worth the wait! My first loaf of (yeasted) bread - I'm so proud. :)

The proof is, of course, in the eating. The verdict? Not too bad for a first go. The bread is nice and crusty, although the texture is quite dense. I suspect this is down to one of the inherent disadvantages of wholemeal bread flour, and the fact the starter was commenced with rye flour. Over time, hopefully, my starter (which is dormant in the fridge at the moment) will improve to produce a more flavoursome loaf that is lighter in texture. Oh, and I could have done with adding a little more salt to the dough methinks.

With a bit of olive oil spread and St Dalfour apricot jam (sweetened with fruit juice) as a treat!


Annisa said...

Hi there, good to see your sourdough experiment! I've recently been advised by my GP to get on the anti-candida diet, and was searching around to see if naturally leavened breads would be ok to consume. Also, my GP told me to lay off all fruit because of sugar content and even carrots, due to their high sugar content. Is St Dalfour jam advisable? I've had it since childhood, but despite the fact that it's sugar-free, it's still pretty sweet!

Djinn said...

Hi Annisa,

Nice to hear that there are some enlightened GPs out there! Yes, initially you should cut out all sugar, including fructose. As you progress you can start to reintroduce fruit (usually starting with apples or pears). From memory St Dalfour jam is sweetened with grape juice (very sweet!), and should, therefore, only be consumed as an occasional treat, until after your initial blitz on those yeasty-beasties! Has your GP given you a nutritional plan? If not, I would recommend that you take the advice of a naturopath.

Good luck!