Sourdough Starter and the End Result – Sourdough Bread!

In an earlier post I talked about starting to make kefir. Now that I have, I am interested in learing about using my kefir in other recipes. I have made batidos (smoothies) and pancakes. It was time to try something different and that is sourdough starter.  This will be a first for me but I really am tired of just white rolls and white bread so making a homemade loaf with that sourdough flavor and part of the flour being whole grain wheat flour would make for a more interesting loaf.

San Clemente 8.18.2013 009To make the started you need 1 cup of kefir and 1 cup of regular white flour. Mix together and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

San Clemente 8.18.2013 011This is what it looked like after three days.  Now find a sourdough recipe like this one and get started:

I like this step by step recipe with pictures showing each phase of your sourdough process. It makes it easy to follow along.

San Clemente 8.18a.2013 002This is what the dough looks like before the last rise.

San Clemente 8.20.2013 002here the dough is ready for baking.

San Clemente 8.20.2013 005And here is the finished product. It has a crusty crust, great texture and a beautiful sourdough taste: an excellent bread for sandwiches and I even used it last evening for brochetta and it worked out great.

San Clemente 8.20a.2013 002You only need to make sourdough started once. I read that families pass it down from generation to generation.  I added 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of white flour to the remaining starter and kept it at room temperature until it was ready to overflow the container. It is now in the refrigerator waiting for the next use. I will let you know how it does. This bread is going fast!!

35 thoughts on “Sourdough Starter and the End Result – Sourdough Bread!

    • Hi 2texasgals, I have a Electrolux, Gas, 4 burner, with two oven racks and it also has a broiler…this was not an easy oven to find. Most ovens here come with only one inside oven rack and do not broil…The bread recipe called for making it in a large cast iron pot with a lid. Heat the oven for 30 minutes with the pot inside. Pull the pot out sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom plop in your dough and put on the top rack covered for 30 minutes and remove cover for the final 15 minutes. I would love for the oven to reach 450 but…it does not I push the beast but again it may reach 400. When I build my outdoor ramada we will be putting a complete kitchen there and I want a commercial three rack oven that you can push to 450 even 500 degrees…I see pizza and foccacia in our future, so many things that require very high heat…now reading all the items from the Expats forums on Ecuador wanting us to change from gas to electric I am not happy. I love cooking with gas and honestly if gas canisters go to $20 a can compared to $2.50 it will not kill us because we only use 4 full cans of gas a year…so to me this is much cheaper than putting in a new electric range/oven and paying the electric bill. If we do that it may take us over into the next electric cost level which will not make me happy. One suggestion for you is not to use those flimsy loaf pans, take a good heavy duty pot (make sure your handles are oven proof) and use that you will get a beautiful round loaf. I was very impressed with this bread, it was huge because the pot I have is big but it came out great. Best bread I have made here or in Panama. worth a try!

  1. Very interesting that you used self-rising flour; I read that you can’t make good sourdough starter with that because it’s alkaline. What sort of pan did you use? I’ve been playing around with sourdough bread here too but just using a loaf pan. Try sourdough pancakes; they’re to die for!

    • Hola Janispaqu, I need to go back to my recipe and make sure that I did not say self-rising flour because 1st you cannot get self-rising flour here and 2nd it will not work in this recipe…It should be listed as regular white flour and I used about 1/4 cup of whole grain wheat (integral) flour in place of 1/4 cup of the plain white flour in the actual bread dough. Then when I went to punch the bread down I used approximately 1/4 cup of plain white flour along with 1/4 cup of whole grain wheat (integral) flour for dusting my hands and working the dough before the last rise. I put the dough in a heated cast iron pot really big because that is all that I had that was of good heavy duty quality. (be care of the handles on the pot they need to be able to withstand the ovens heat) The recipe called for preheating the oven for 30 minutes and putting the pot in the oven during that period of time, taking it out sprinkling corn meal on the bottom and adding the bread dough, covering the pot and return to the oven for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. My loaf pans are very thin and honestly don’t work that well, for breads you really need something heavy duty and I have not found good bakewear here. The recipe I used said you can use Pyrex but I am afraid of cracking Pyrex as I have done that often in the past. I am going to try sourdough pancakes if you have a recipe that works for you please send it along to me. Nancy

      • I was going by your photo of the YA brand flour; it’s self-rising. It says on the bag “Con Polvo de Hornear” (with baking powder). I am in Salinas and it’s hard to find flour that isn’t self-rising! How do you get the risen dough into the pan without deflating it?! Thanks for the info!!

        • Janispaqu, Honestly I had no idea, I assumed that it was just plain ordinary white flour…It worked and came out okay but again it should be plain white flour for this recipe. The flour must not have much in the way of baking powder in it ha ha I will need to be more aware when shopping for flour…this is the brand I have always used and honestly never took a second look….When you do your last rise you add a bit of oil to your bowl, place your dough in and cover with a clean dish towel. After it has risen you just tip the bowl and it slides into the heated pot. It sizzles a bit and just pop it right into the oven…it may have deflated a little but the bread came out dense with a very crispy and chewy crust…love using the big pot, it makes such a great loaf. Nancy

          • Well flour notwithstanding, it looks wonderful! I want to bring back a nice heavy covered pot next time I go back to the states….can’t find anything suitable here! I have been using a recipe for slow-rise sourdough and I really like it; during the slow rise (12-72 hrs. in the fridge) most of the gluten gets “eaten”! My friend’s autistic son who’s on a gluten-free diet can eat this bread with no bad reactions! And the “sour” taste is more apparent, the longer you let it sit.

            • Janispaqu, thanks so much I will try that the next time I make my bread. I love the idea of it being gluten free…how great is that. Nancy

    • Hi Diane, thanks so much…I am so happy it worked out. You never know if a new recipe is going to work or not and I hate making folks be guinea pigs for my experiments…Nancy

    • Hi Nancy, I honestly thought that making a sourdough starter was going to be difficult. This was so easy. The bread dough on the other hand took a great deal of time but hardly any work so again it was not a bad process. My friends Diane and Rob brought me caraway seeds so my next loaf will be made with a sprinkling of those seeds and maybe if I close my eyes it will taste a bit like “old fashioned rye bread” OH how I miss that bread from my youth. If you are visiting the coast make sure I know when you will be around and I will be sure to make you a huge loaf of bread to take back to Cuenca…it is the best bread I have ever made, hands down!!! And believe me it is not because I am talented or anything, it all has to do with the sourdough starter what a find!!! Blessings to you and Chuck, Nancy

    • Lynda, I have been buying the butter off the one truck. It is okay but I do prefer the butter from Mi Commisariato and Joe and I will be making our monthly food shopping trip to Portoviejo on Friday or Monday…then I will need to make another loaf and you got it SLATHER ON THE BUTTER, better yet while it is still warm….and I wonder why I am overweight…Nancy

    • Hola Deb, Do you have Expat forums on Facebook or Yahoo for Nicaragua? If so, go on them and ask if anyone has kefir grains to share. We are a sharing bunch becuase under the right conditions the grains grow rapidly and either we need to throw some out or share. I am enjoying my dehydrated ones but they are not growing like the ones I had in Panama. First it is not warm here right now and it is not very humid so I think come December they will take off and I will have more that I need/want and will be wanting to share with folks here…You will love this sourdough starter and will go crazy for the sourdough bread…excellent hardy loaf…and that was my first attempt…Someone suggested sourdough pancakes…I will see if I can find a recipe and do a post if it turns out okay. Nancy

  2. Nan, another thing about the YA brand flour, I think it comes from Guayaquil. Ecuador does import some GMO wheat and it’s made into flour in Guayaquil, so if that is important to you, it’s “safer” to buy flour that’s made in Quito.

    • What is the brand name for the Quito flour? Would love to know that today, we are going food shopping tomorrow and will start using it instead of the GMO stuff…how disgusting GMO!!!

      • I honestly don’t know if ALL flour from Guayaquil is GMO, but I treat it as if it is! BB brand flour is from Quito, and several others; I think Super Aki’s brand and Super Maxi brand are as well. Look on the back of the bag and it’ll tell where it’s from.

        • I will check it out tomorrow while we are in Portoviejo. Thanks again, I never thought to check, I assumed (that nasty word) that the government here was not allowing GMO products…wrong again!!!

  3. Bread looks really nice! You mentioned GAS vs Electric source in EC. Is there some changes on prices etc?
    Will wait to hear from you.

    • Hi Sue, Right now a can of gas is $2.50 but we have heard from Expat sources that it will become much more expensive in the future. Looks like the government will stop the subsidies on all gas products including cooking gas..but again this is a rumor and I honestly don’t know if it is true or not….We only use about 4 cans a year maybe 5 so to pay $20 a can would not really bother us…I honestly do prefer gas to electric…we will see what happens, Nancy

  4. I have just made my own sourdough starter. I have made that kind of loaf before but never with a sourdough recipe, and it was the best bread I had ever eaten , so I am expecting magical results this time!

    Just a quick question, which may seem terribly naive to you. Can we get coconut oil and milk easily in Ecuador?

    • Hi Barbara, No problem on questions, the more you know before you arrive the better off you will be and the easier it will be to adjust. I have not found “real” coconut oil here. What I have found is some clear oil with cocounut fragrance in it which is worthless to me. You can get canned coconut milk by several manufacturers at most of the big supermarkets, pricy at almost $4 a can. I am considering making my own milk…but have not gotten up my nerve yet. The instructions sound easy so next recipe I may give it a go. Of course I will document it in pictures and do an article, so I remember what I did, ha ha While living in Panama there was an Expat who made coconut oil and would deliver it down to David. You could buy quart containers or a case of 6 quarts for cheap like $35 a case…I wish someone would start a business here, I would love to get some.

      • Thanks, Nan. I will try making my own coconut milk, cream and oil … and let you know what works for me. I assume coconuts are available! I am delighted that you are the same kind of cook and traveler as I am … often people from the developed world thaink that the developing world should be identical to what they are used to at a tenth the price.

        • Hi Barbara, Coconuts are available, I have a guy who will deliver them to the house, open them and give me a container of water and the coconut meat almost completely cleaned for $1 a coconut. I think that is a great price because I do not want to open them myself. Living outside of the US my total idea about cooking has changed. What we eat now is made from scratch, no boxes, no cans, just fresh ingredients turned into our meals. It was not an easy transition but I must admit it has been fun. You last comment is totally correct, things are cheaper unless you want US products, I can get peanut butter here so much cheaper than buying a container of Skippy, what I buy has no artificial ingredients, no additives, JUST peanuts…I like that better, Nancy

          • I tried to make coconut milk and cream and oil and it resulted in a resounding flop … well not totally, it made a very light coconut milk which in turn created a very nice rice dish. But next time I will not add as much water and see what happens. Will let you know.

            I have a recipe for a crepe or waffle six layer cake with fillings of hazelnut chocolate and whipped coconut cream that uses no wheat flour … just coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut cream, cocoa, hazel nuts, eggs, vanilla and a bit of natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey. It always turns out delicious. (The first time it looked terrible … like a small brown football … or worse … but I have tweaked the method so that it now looks as good as it tastes. I would love to produce it without opening a can!

            • Barbara, you are a real trend-setter. I have made the coconut cream and milk and for a first attempt it was not bad but I know in my heart of hearts that I am not ready to make coconut oil…You are far ahead of me in the guts department.. I do like the dessert recipe, where do you get hazelnut? I have not seen them here…Yesterday I made everything Jalapeno! I found fresh peppers at the supermarket and will do a post in the next day on my work. Have a great day, Nancy

              • I get my hazelnuts everywhere here at home but apparently you can substitute almonds or macadamia nuts. Are they available in Ecuador?

                If you want the actual recipe, let me know …

                Looking forward to the jalapeño recipe day post.

                BTW … bought two more coconuts yesterday … 1.29 … but I have to fight with them! Next attempt at coconut oil coming up.

                Barbara Scott
                Sent from my iPad

                • Hey Barbara, sorry for the stupid question, I thought you were living here already. We can get almonds and macadamia nuts, almonds used to be $2.99 they are now $5.06 for the same size 250g package, macadamia nuts are out of sight and not always on the shelf. I have never seen hazelnuts. Thanks for the link I really think that would be a great dessert for company, I remember Jamie Oliver did crêpe cake with kids on one show…even after the kids murdered it it looked great…maybe I will make it just for Joe and I the first time just to test it 🙂 Grin…. I always made Joe open the coconuts but now the vendor does it all for me for $1 a coconut…all we need to do is peel a bit of brown from the meat and it is ready to eat. I am making Malaysian Chicken Curry now using Penang Curry that one of my friends got me in the states…it is really hot but once I make the Roti or Paranta it will be a great dinner this evening. I really try to mix it up because I become bored with same old/same old…Joe just tested it and proclaimed it very flavorful but HOT AS hell!!! I passed the test, have a great afternoon, N

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