The History of Sourdough
Sourdough is the oldest and most original form of leavened bread. The oldest recorded use of sourdough is from the Ancient Egyptian civilizations.
The first recorded civilization we know about that used sourdough was the Egyptians around 1500 BC. There are many stories as to how they first discovered it, but you can probably imagine that some bread was left out and some of the wild yeast spores that are in the air at all times got mixed in the dough and they noticed that it rose and was lighter than the usual flat breads.
The Egyptians also made a lot of beer and the brewery and the bakery were often in the same place. a batch of flour may have been mixed with beer and produced a light loaf of bread, or the wild yeast spores were thick from the brewing and they got into the bread doughs and caused them to rise considerably more than the usual wild sourdoughs.
Through trial and error they found out that some of these sourdough cultures worked and tasted better than others. They could keep this culture alive by saving from their baking a little raw dough and adding more flour to it, and it would produce the same flavor. This is known as a sourdough starter. a good sourdough culture became very important to day to day living, and even taken by explorers when they went on expeditions around the world.
Sourdough also came in handy 'when old timers had to tan hides. They rubbed it into the skin, fur side down till soft and dry. Some claim there starters to the fame of originating in the old country or from the Klondike era. Recently a sum of $600.00 American was paid by a restaurant desiring the authenticity of Alaskan sourdough from the gold rush days.
by Chef Cookie Soles
I would like to share a bit of research I came across recently concerning "Sourdough". What originally caught my eye was an analysis of laboratory tests. They say that Sourdough contains the greatest amount of protein for it's weight and size of any comparable food. "Hmm" I thought "just how does that come about when it's ingredients are all carbohydrates?" Apparently a wild yeast forms in the fermentation process of the starter. At that stage, a starch food is turned into a protein dynamo food.
Recipe for sourdough starter
1. Boil potatoes with the jackets on until they fall apart.
To make sourdough bread;
Use 2cups of starter,
A few hints for your starter.
1. If it separates, (water forming on top) stir well and add flour to make a smooth batter again.
"Sourdough" has also been called Chuck wagon bread, Cellar biscuits Yeast dough, Spook bread, Saurteig in Germany and in Africa they use the wild yeast and call it "Most".
Food in History , Reay Tannahill
The holes that are created from carbon dioxide which is a by product from the yeast activity.