the great frontier and fermented flour
Frontiersmen trekked across the west slinging pouches of survival around their necks. They earned the name "Sourdoughs" or "Dough Boys" because of the small leather pouches they wore with sourdough starters inside. These pouches aided in survival by providing the start to dough that could be used for nutrient-dense food along their way.
In a land abundant with wildlife and vegetation for the savvy herbalist, there was still a need for heavy amounts of carbohydrates and healthy bacteria. Sourdough became the back-woodsman's best friend. As these travelers crossed into the west, wild yeast cultivated inside the dough - made of equal parts of flour and water. The dough varied from person to person based on which regions they traveled through.
The "Dough Boys" and their legacy are rarely mentioned in today's world of convenient food, quick rise yeast, and fast-paced promises. But it's an important lesson to remember and revive. Modified yeast that we know of today is only about 150 years old, but sourdough is the bread of ages.
your sourdough's gotta start somewhere
Making your own starter isn't as hard as you might think. You can take advantage of the hard work of others by collecting a starter from a friend, or tracking one down on Amazon. There's also a great reference article over at The Homesteading Hippy that provides some insight for further reading.
Just make sure to use good ingredients, clean water, and a healthy dose of common sense. With a little bit of patience, you can have a sourdough culture that can extend for generations.
A recipe to best any disaster
A key to the process is to be mindful of feeding the starter and following a rigid process. But, if you do, a starter that is well maintained can be used for generations. Some have lasted over a century after being handed down from one patron to the next. Others have been revived after 4,500 years by using careful, meticulous feeding protocols.
Krista, a recent contributor provided the following advice on her tried-and-true method for making and baking her starter. In her words:
The Ultimate Sourdough Shopping List for Prepper pastries and bunker bread
If you're ready to take the plunge and pound out a few rounds of sourdough yourself, there's opportunity to do better than the store-bought bread you've tried in the past. Natural sourdough with wild yeast has a greater nutritional value and is packed with more protein and carbs than sliced bread.
You can either create your own, or order up a starter and look into some cookbooks while you're at it. Check out these best-of options for your sourdough sweet tooth! What's great about this bread is there's some options for people who can't handle gluten. Pizza crusts, pies, breads, and more! Be sure to check your ingredients and stay away from bleached flour. Stick with the good stuff to begin with and you can't go wrong.