What is Sourdough?
Sourdough is bread made from flour, water and salt. The bread is fermented using a wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The LAB acidify the dough to give sourdough bread the noted tang. Found across the globe, the French refer to it as Levain, Italians call it lievito naturale and the Germans call it sauerteig.
Sourdough bread starts with a sourdough starter. This bubbly pot plays host to a colony of symbiotic microbes. Bakers will often maintain their prized starter and feed it indefinitely. This provides a constant raising agent source.
Importantly, the sourdough starter is alive. It will continue to live and rise your bread with some careful management.
The microbes that make up a sourdough starter secrete enzymes, including amylase and maltose.
The history of sourdough starter began in ancient Egypt where it was used as an ingredient to make breads. One of the earliest records of sourdough starter comes from the 18th century when a German baker named Otto Rohwedder created the first loaf of sliced bread.