Our family has been enjoying delicious pancakes, waffles, bread, pizza crusts, and English muffins (click here) made with my homemade sour dough starter. It has opened a whole new world for me, since several of us are gluten intolerant. If you use a fermentation process, it helps to break down the phytic acid which is the cause of most digestive issues for people.
(This is a quote from Dr. Weston A. Price… “Another study showed almost complete elimination of phytic acid in whole wheat bread after eight hours of sourdough fermentation.”)
Making your own sour dough starter is really not as hard as you may think. What helped me the most in getting and maintaining a strong starter is the addition of using rye flour as well as white unbleached flour.
I like the King Arthur flours, but I don’t alway have it on hand. If you’re following THM diet plan, you can only use white flour to FEED the starter, but not when you go to bake with it. The reason you can use it to feed the starter is because it will only be a minimal amount in your whole recipe and the sourdough eats up the natural sugars and breaks down the phytic acid, making it easier to digest. It works similar to using regular sugar while making Kombucha.
I’ve found the easiest way to maintain my starter is to keep it in a large glass container in the refrigerator, and I only feed it once a week. On the evening of my feeding day, I make sure to mix up a batch of English muffins and/or some pancakes just before I feed it. This way it uses up most of it and I have less to feed. It is very important to remember to always feed it with the same ratio of flour to the amount of starter you are feeding and a bit less water than the amount of starter. (If you have 1 C. starter, feed with 1 C. flour, and a scant 1 C. water. )
Note: To keep it THM compatible, make sure to wait at least 8-12 hours to use your starter after you’ve fed it. As in my recipe for the English muffins, I always mix the starter, flour, and milk (or water) the night before I want to bake it and leave it set at room temperature. This provides a longer fermentation period to make sure it is THM approved.
Also, baked things like bread and cinnamon rolls need to set out a few days to become more active. Take the amount of starter you need and set it at room temperature and feed it more frequently until it rises well and is thick and bubbly. You should be able to see lots of air pockets when you pull some back from the sides.
*Make sure not to use ANY metal utensils or bowls with your sour dough starter.
I hope you enjoy working with your sour dough starter as much as I do!