We’ve been eating solely sourdough for many years here at Chiot’s Run, as we follow the Weston A. Price guidelines of traditional eating. If you’ve never read about sourdough bread and it’s health benfits I’d highly recommend heading over to Real Food Forager to read:
5 Reasons to Make Sourdough Your Only Bread.
Sourdough bread does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you figure it out you’ll have no trouble at all. One key thing to remember is that the wild yeast takes longer to raise, so give your bread some time. The temperature of your house will also affect the leavening action of the sourdough. We keep our home very cold in winter and thus I use a higher percentage of starter and let my dough ferment for about twice as long as most recipes recommend.
If you want to learn the art of sourdough baking, I’d highly recommend reading The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens. This is a very in depth look at sourdough, probably more information than you want to know, but it is the book that really cemented my knowledge of sourdough and helped me understand the process fully. After reading through this book I feel very confident every time I make sourdough and I’m even able to adapt non-sourdough recipes to sourdough. It doesn’t contain recipes per se, but parameters for baking, you’ll want to find a go-to recipe that works for you. My favorite sourdough recipe is Norwich More Sourdough from Wild Yeast Blog (this one has a higher % of starter which makes it perfect for my cold house and the winter months).
If you don’t want to get too in depth on the chemistry of sourdough, you can read Classic Sourdoughs, Revised: A Home Baker’s Handbook. The information is basic and very good, the recipes are very simple and easy to make. Following these simple methods you’ll be making wonderful sourdough whenever you want. This book and the one mentioned above also recommend a different method of starter maintenance that only requires weekly feedings. I have found this to be the key for keeping my starter from getting too sour and strong. I cannot recommend these books more highly for the sourdough baker!
If you could only eat one kind of bread for the rest of your life what would it be?
For more info on the Weston A Price eating guidelines read:
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats