More Fermented Foods!
I have a passion for great bread! Not just any bread mind you, but crunchy on the outside, chewy and dense on the inside, bread. I’m talking about the French Baguette purchased from a patissier on rue Cler in Paris, where bread is an art form.
These lovely breads are made daily from a traditional sponge. It’s the sponge that gives the bread complex flavor and character. Interestingly enough, the longer the sponge is allowed to ferment as in the case of sourdough, the more shelf stable the finished bread becomes. Also, sourdough is a nutritional powerhouse.
- The fermentation process actually pre-digests the starches making the bread more easily digestible and more tolerable for people with gluten sensitivities.
- The process also increases the vitamin and mineral content.
- Phytase (an enzyme) is activated during fermentation which in turn helps breakdown anti-nutrients found in all grains, seeds, and beans. These anti-nutrients can actually strip your body of vital minerals!
With that bit of knowledge and in pursuit of great bread I could make at home (sadly I don’t live Paris… sigh,) I decided to try an Italian sourdough yeast. We do eat a lot of pizzas around here so I was looking for something I could use for pizza crust or bread. I have not been disappointed with this bread! It has been really easy to work with and super tasty!
It’s quickly become my families favorite! Isn’t it pretty?!
I’ve also recently been trying my hand at homemade yogurt. I really had gotten tired of store bought yogurt with its high sugar content and questionable ingredients. So once again I headed over to Cultures For Health and purchased a yogurt starter. I chose a mild flavored one called Viili that can be fermented without a yogurt maker. I really didn’t want to buy any new equipment!
Over all my results have been really good! (Except for that one time I forgot it and let it sit out for about 12 hours too long! The whole thing curdled and I thought I had killed it! But the culture survived and I was able to continue making yogurt.) Trust me! If I can do this you can!
It’s simple to keep the yogurt going. Just remember the ratio of 1 tablespoon of yogurt to 1 cup of milk. Each time I start to get low, I take a clean jar and add 4 tablespoons of my current yogurt and add in 4 cups of milk. I cover it with a cloth and put it in a warm spot. (For me that’s on top of my DVR.) Then in about 12 hours I have a whole new batch of yogurt. It’s so good served with a drizzle of honey and some fresh berries!
I have to laugh! Between feeding my sourdough starter and alternating my yogurt making with kefir making, I feel like I have three new pets! It is a bit more work, but I feel so good about nourishing my body and taking charge of my family’s health in this way. It’s an empowering feeling. Have you started your own cultures yet? Let us know!