The Beauty of Wild Yeast & Sour Dough

“Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy …”
Ecclesiastes 9:7




For the past little week or so, I’ve been doing some researching, trial by error baking and reading up on sour dough bread baking.
I had read that sour dough bread was a healthier alternative a few years back, but hesitated as I just love making bread so much – I did not want to give up my regular loaves. In all honesty, I was skeptical. I had guessed that our bread would no longer taste good and it would be dry and boring.

{milling  the spelt and rye flour at home}

Yet, after a recent conversation with some extended family members, the point that real bread should simply be flour, water and a little salt really made me think. I also watched a documentary on the fermentation of bread making – how it has been the traditional way of making bread for thousands of years – and that, too, got my husband I both looking into the benefits of sour dough bread.  It took me a while, I must admit, to realize that sour dough bread could be really lovely. I am completely hooked now! Bye bye commercial yeast! Hello, wild and free yeast!

My attempts at making a sour dough starter had previously failed, simply because I think I just did not follow the simple directions. Now looking back, I see how silly that was. (It really does pay to just follow directions and be patient, both things I am not very good at.)


So I tried again.

After a pain-stainkingly long week of waiting and watching my sour dough starter  {a mix of one cup of spelt flour mixed with one cup of water, added daily, stirred daily, changed the glass jar and washed it down down daily}, it finally began to bubble away on the counter top. Yes, my starter was ready for some baking!  Just to test it out, I started with some sour dough pancakes. They were tasty and the girls ate them up quickly for breakfast (they just love pancakes – it is always a treat to have them for breakfast). Next, I moved on to some loaves. The first few loaves were a little bit flat – but we toasted and ate them anyways. I just kept trying a new recipe or technique every day. At night, I dreamt of bread recipes, of how to make the sour dough work, of trying new ways of forming the loaves … I was am still excited each morning to try something new … some in a bread tin … some free form (the first one went completely flat!) … a rustic loaf … mixed with spelt and rye flour …

My research and baking experiments are also inspired by talks I have heard from Nourishing Traditions and Sally Fallon’s work.  I have always loved baking bread – it feels so lovely and wholesome for my family. However, knowing that sour dough bread takes the nutrition level up several notches makes it all the more wonderful. My mom (an incredible bread baker) is also trying this new venture so it has been fun chatting back and forth about what works and what doesn’t.


It is quite different than regular yeast bread … this oldest form of grain fermentation takes a lot more time, a lot more patience and lot more skill, I am finding, than working with regular yeast dough. First of all, the rise time is slower using the natural yeast of the air.  I actually respect that about this bread making process. It does not require much more hands on time – but a slowed down approach to the rising time, prep time, etc. Obviously, I am still new at this and am learning so much.

The health benefits of sour dough bread are quite wonderful!

To begin with, sour dough bread is easier to digest for the body and holds an array of lovely nutrients. According to this article, “Lactic acid bacteria (LAB – including those commonly found in sourdough bread) produce beneficial compounds: antioxidants, the cancer-preventive peptide lunasin, and anti-allergenic substances, some of which may help in the treatment of auto-immune diseases.”


“The integrity of sourdough is so complex that it contains a host of goodness in terms of nutrients. In sourdough, you can find vitamins B1-B6, B12, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium in addition to uniquely balanced proteins and fatty acids.”

Doesn’t that just inspire you to learn more about sour dough breads and try it yourself?

Tonight, we are eating beef barley soup {beef courtesy of our friends, who blessed us with a large cut of beef from their cow} with this lovely loaf of sour dough bread.

So nourishing and I am so thankful!

I have much to still learn – would you like to learn with me as I go?


P.S. My six year old would not eat any of the sour dough bread because of the name – she thought it would taste awful and “sour”. I suggested we change the name to Wild Yeast Bread or her Particular Special Bread – lo and behold, she had a piece at dinner time and ended up eating six more pieces! Don’t let the “sour” in the name fool you.



Linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims

March 23, 2017 - 8:36 pm

Gigi Sure, Veronica. I am new to it, but I will gladly share what I have learned so far and how the starter was made. Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂

March 23, 2017 - 7:55 pm

Gigi I love sharing information back and forth! Nice to have a partner in this! xx

March 23, 2017 - 6:36 pm

veronika goisova wonderful,I so wanna give sourdough a try again,my starter died twice last year…
would you share detailed way of making it ,feeding it etc
Thank you for the post,enjoying your blog always)

March 23, 2017 - 3:19 pm

Gigi I guess I should clarify – as they have ultra-violet vision, they can discriminate faster movement than we can. So fast movement is easier to spot, slow movement will results in less stings!

March 23, 2017 - 12:46 pm

Maike I was trying to leave a comment under your bee post quite a while back. I still remember the interesting facts and was telling the girl I’m taking care of about not moving fast and wearing bright colors instead of black. But then I started to wonder…if they only see fast movement, how do they see the flowers, grass, bee hive etc? Or do they see everything but just get more scared by fast movement?

March 23, 2017 - 10:25 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) I am trying this too! So far, not much success but I will not give up!! I have a wonderful starter going though and look forward to accomplishing the first tasty loaf!!