Maintaining a sourdough starter is like having a really finicky 5th child that eats exclusively einkorn flour and water.
That might be an exaggeration.
None the less, it is more effort than I previously thought. But it is DEFINITELY worth it.
My family has been largely gluten free since 2013-14. Mostly due to my own gluten intolerance, and ease of EVERYONE eating paleo diets instead of cooking 2-3 allergy specific dishes for each meal.
Since then, we have been diligently working to rebuild healthy gut biomes and restore health to our bodies using SCD diet, organic/”clean” eating (whole foods, non-GMO, minimal ingredients) paleo diet principles (Low carb, high protein and veggies), and heavy vitamin and mineral supplementation.
In so doing, and based upon everyone’s overall health and well-being, I thought it appropriate to wean us onto whole, ancient grains. Now I tried this about a year ago, and we weren’t quite ready for it, as my boys had some skin reactions to einkorn. But, in strategically purchasing organic einkorn wheat and grinding it myself, and then fermenting the flour -hello, sourdough!- we’ve managed to establish a tolerance for it! Which is wonderful for a lot of reasons.
1) it has more protein and overall nutritional benefit than rice flour, which was our previous go-to.
2) it is much better behaved than rice flour in baking.
3) because of it’s nutritional density, it is more filling and satisfying than GF flours.
4) rice is higher in arsenic content which builds toxicity in the body over time.
5) it’s lower on the glycemic scale than rice, which means it doesn’t cause spikes blood sugar like rice can.
I could go on listing reasons forever. It’s just superior. And because it has 14 as opposed to 42 chromosomes of modern GMO wheat varieties, it’s much more easily digested, especially when fermented to allow enzymes to break down some of the grain proteins.
So I’ve been coddling this sourdough starter for about a week now and I’ve had enough discard to make crackers and pancakes and I will tell you what, both were delicious and filling and neither caused any gastric upset or eczema outbreaks for us.
I’ve had bad luck in the past maintaining a healthy starter so I went for precision this time, adding equal parts flour, water, and starter BY WEIGHT! This means I have to weigh and measure everthing, but it is worth the effort for the nutritional benefit it gives my family.
Hopefully by next weekend, the baby starter will have matured enough to rise a loaf of sourdough bread! In the meantime, I’ll keep feeding it daily and maintaining this slow-food goodness.