That is our supper from a few nights ago. It is a white bean and chicken chili with a slice of sourdough thickly spread with Kerrygold butter. I talk all the time about just how nutritious sourdough is and once you are acclimated to the different flavor, the fruity aroma is not to be missed. But, that is not all, the best benefit is that sourdough is ridiculously easy to work with.
If you have ever kneaded bread dough by hand, especially those made with whole grains or high-protein bread flour, it is tough business. Those protein fibers and all that bran make for big muscles. My mother was a powerful softball pitcher when I was kid with a mean overhand that blew away the men on the hardball team. When people used to ask her how she developed such strong arms, she would tell them she baked the bread we ate. They thought she was kidding, let me tell you, she was not! When we were visiting the farm (the one we are moving to) last summer, I was baking all the bread my family of twelve ate plus enough for the countless number of relatives there for the reunion. My neck, shoulders and back ached and I wished I had brought some starter. Sourdough starters produce a dough that is soft, pliable, easily rolled and which does not spring back. My husband has dubbed it "The Courtesan of Doughs" for reasons that I hope I have just made clear.
Anyway, if you have not tried making sourdough yet, you really should. It is easy to knead and easy to roll into stromboli and pizza crusts and makes you work in the kitchen easier and faster. No back breaking kneading, no pizza crusts that spring back to their original size as you try to roll them out, really, there is no heavy lifting when you let the sourdough starter do all the work for you. Your time is precious. Don't think you don't have time or energy for sourdough, realize you don't have time for commercial yeast!
You can start with my sourdough bread recipe in my tutorials HERE, or my post on refining sourdough technique HERE, or my post on mastering it HERE, or you can buy my eBooklet HERE. Heads up, you can get my booklet included with the screaming deal of books in the Health Library eBook Bundle HERE. There are only a few days left to get all 53 books for just under $40, which is pretty good deal. Why should buy my eBooklet when I have so much information here for free? Well, because the confines of a post are well, confining. In Simply Sourdough I have copious photos explaining the different stages of starter development as well as how to boost a sick starter and how to tell the difference between a sick and a dead starter. I also explain different techniques for baking and show photos of the baking process as well as the final product. I also have a section explaining how to convert your favorite commercial yeast recipes to sourdough. That is way more than I can get into in a single post or even a series of posts.
But, because money does not grow on trees, I understand that some of you might just want the free information. Which is fine, it is here and it is free. Either way, start a starter or just start using it. You will be glad that you did. And so will your back.