The preparation of the sourdough is a process that requires approximately five days, but provides the best quality to any bakery or pastry recipe.
Sourdough generates its own ferment as the days go by and gives a different texture and taste to a dough that has added yeast Learn the necessary steps to prepare the sourdough, the advantages it gives to your recipes and some keys to prepare it.
What will you find in this article?
What is sourdough?
Sourdough is used to make bakery products and pastries, but it has a different elaboration process than traditional dough.
This type of dough is obtained by mixing 100 grams of water with 100 grams of flour until it forms a paste, then it is left to rest and the procedure is repeated in the same container in which it rested.
The aim of the sourdough is to generate the ferment on its own, without the intervention of chemicals In addition, the use of the sourdough allows you to obtain a better quality in the cooking of the recipes and that they have a better flavor.
Steps for making sourdough
Only four ingredients are required to make sourdough: wheat flour, water, a teaspoon of sugar and a container with an airtight seal.
Sourdough is simple to prepare and also to preserve, so it will not be a problem in the production of bakery products or pastries.
It will take about five days to get the sourdough ready to be used, but you will have to invest some minutes during each day, to verify that the process is developing correctly.
Always remember to do it at the same time so that it rests completely 24 hours a day.
Day one is dedicated to mixing the wheat flour with the water in a tall, airtight container. It should be mineral water and at room temperature.
It is necessary to add the same amount of water as flour. So if you want to add 200 grams of flour, you must add 200 grams of water.
Once the two ingredients are placed inside the container, it is time to start mixing until there are no lumps. Close the container and let it rest for 24 hours at a temperature between 20 and 22 degrees centigrade.
During the second day you must add again the same amount of wheat flour and water that you put in the container during day 1.
In addition, you must add a spoonful of sugar and stir until you obtain a homogeneous mixture. Let it rest with the container closed under the same indications of day 1.
By the third day of preparation of the sourdough, you will notice differences in the appearance of the dough you prepared in advance To that container with the reserved dough, add the amount of water and flour you used at the beginning of the whole process.
Mix carefully until all the ingredients are mixed and set aside
Remember that it must be stored in a place that has a temperature between 20 and 22 degrees centigrade. Make sure it rests until the next day.
On the fourth day you will notice greater physical differences compared to the mixture you prepared on the first day.
When you open the container you will notice that the sourdough will have a brown liquid that separates from the mixture, this is the water with the sugars that the fermentation process gives off. Take a teaspoon and remove it very carefully.
To the dough that is contained in the container you must add the same amount of flour that you used on day one. Mix it so that it integrates and let it rest until the next revision.
When the fifth day arrives it means that the dough is ready to use. When the container is uncovered, the sourdough will look creamy, smell sour and have some bubbles on top.
You should only add flour to this sourdough to give it a greater consistency and prepare the recipes you want.
Best way to preserve sourdough
Sourdough can be preserved by different methods. No matter what you choose to store it in, its processing properties will not change.
If you are going to use the sourdough leaving several days of difference, store it in the refrigerator inside a container with a lid
It should be taken out one day before use so that it takes the temperature of the room and the yeast acts correctly when preparing the products.
If the sourdough is used for daily cooking, leave it in a closed container at room temperature.
Finally, if you are not going to use your sourdough within a week, it is necessary to repeat the steps of its preparation during every day it is not used.
That way, the dough stays fresh longer and the yeasts that were generated will be active
Keys to success in dough making
To make a perfect sourdough that has the benefits you expect for your recipes, take note of these key tips to succeed in the process.
Avoid the use of tap water, because it is chlorinated and can affect the fermentation process. So it is best to use mineral water.
To prepare the sourdough you can use the flour you prefer, no matter if it is refined or wholemeal The only difference is that the use of wholemeal flour forms the yeast in a shorter time and in greater quantity, while refined wheat flour tends to take a few days longer.
The temperature to which the sourdough should be submitted should never vary, it should always be the same. If the temperature of the room varies, use a warm kitchen cloth.
In case you prepare the sourdough during the winter, place the sourdough near a radiator to keep it at the required 24°. For the summer, only store the container with the sourdough in a cool space.
Another important aspect is that you should not worry when your sourdough has a brown liquid on top. This is the water with the excess sugar in the flour.
The appearance of the yeast in the flour will produce a sour smell that will be a bit unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean your sourdough has been damaged.
Finally, remember to protect your sourdough by covering the container in which it is contained with its lid or with a kitchen cloth.
Some breads that are made with the sourdough recipe
Sourdough is versatile and works to prepare any product associated with baking and pastries.
One of the breads that tastes great when prepared with sourdough is Galician moña bread. After baking in the oven it has a moist, spongy and delicious crumb.
It also works perfect for baking sandwich bread. The taste of the sourdough will blend perfectly with any accompaniment.
And a last preparation you can bake are bread sticks, to make the most delicious appetizers like the famous garlic bread.
Sourdough or yeast, which is better?
When comparing yeast and sourdough it is important to know the differences between them, only then can you understand which is the best choice.
Yeast is a product of natural origin, but the one you buy for your recipes is produced in companies.
There are three types of yeast (dry, instant and fresh) and they all have the same objective: to create a reaction with the sugar contained in the dough and make it grow in volume by releasing gases from the process.
Sourdough, on the other hand, is a mixture of wheat flour and water that generates its own yeast over the course of days.
Mixing the water with the flour activates the yeast and the bacteria contained in the flour. When they are active, the yeast and bacteria create carbon dioxide that allows the dough to grow.
Unlike the use of yeast, sourdough takes longer to ferment. However, it improves the taste of the bread and has high levels of antioxidants, folic acid and other nutrients.