Sourdough home: to give life to an ancient tradition

Pain au levain maison: donner vie à une tradition millénaire

With the confinement, to make his own bread to the old one is returned to the mode, even if it is already experiencing a resurgence of popularity for some time. With its firm consistency, the crust sturdy and crisp, and its taste full of character, many find it more tasty than white bread.

Its traditional manufacturing relies on a mix of wild yeast that gives the bread amazing nutritional values. And with a little patience, love and care, you can prepare at home with ease.

Until the Seventeenth century, the use of a sourdough, was the only known technique by the bakers for a loaf of bread. It goes without saying that it is a process as old as the invention, even the bread. For over 5000 years, it is made from a simple mixture of flour, water, and air. In the mediterranean countries and the Middle East, it is still the type of bread the most popular.

Full of life

The sourdough bread is a delicious blend of beneficial microbes. Like many of the fermented products having ancient origins (beer, wine, and cheese), these are the micro-organisms that give the good flavors. After having fed the sourdough with water and flour for a few days, the mixture becomes a community prolific : a population of lactic acid bacteria living in harmony with wild yeasts from the flour and from the air. In each teaspoon of yeast, there are five billion bacteria lactobacilli and $ 50 million of yeasts. The sourdough ferment naturally… releasing carbon dioxide, this fermentation allows the dough to rise.

The taste of this bread is slightly tart, with complex aromas and subtle because of the acids that are released from the lactic acid bacteria of the leaven.

Health benefits

Its nutritional composition depends, above all, the type of flour used to prepare it. White flour, ultra-refined has a nutritional value less than a rye flour or spelt. The fermentation process improves the nutritional profile of this type of bread in several ways. The lactic acid bacteria to increase its acidity. This contributes to the degradation of phytate by about 50 % compared to the yeast conventional, which allows a better absorption of the minerals present in the sourdough bread for the body and digestion more easy.

This feature also increases the feeling of satiety. Finally, the fermentation own sourdough could change the structure of the molecules of the carbohydrates in the bread. This would slow down the speed at which their sugars enter the blood, reducing the glycemic index.

Time and simplicity

Produce its own sourdough bread at home is not very complicated. The basic ingredients are water, flour, salt and… the ambient air ! However, the surface requires patience. It takes more time to ferment and rise than other breads. It will take up to six days, the time to strengthen and nourish the yeast, before you can put the dough in the oven.

Did you know ?

For the past ten years, researchers studying the health benefits of sourdough bread for people with celiac disease. Some cultures of yeast would decompose very well the gluten, which is a good news for people who are intolerant !


  • Each sourdough bread has a flavor all its own, because in his heart there was a true unique ecosystem of yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
  • There is a large number of recipes on the internet, based on wheat, rye and spelt.
  • Every baker has his own way of preparing for its sourdough bread, depending on the ingredients used, the proportions of flour, water, and the time spent on the yeast : all of the elements that determine its character.
  • The time of conservation of the sourdough bread is longer, the acidity of the sourdough slows down the appearance of mold and keeps its crumb is soft for nearly a week.
  • A starter can be kept alive for several years. Treated with care and fed regularly, it becomes a basic valuable food.
  • A leaven on which appears a dark brown color or rose has been contaminated : it is necessary to get rid of it. A good yeast has a pleasant smell of bread dough uncooked.
  • You can do all sorts of things with leaven : for example, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, pizza dough and muffins.

Sourdough bread 100% natural

Servings : two loaves of bread


  • 1kg of flour
  • 200g of sourdough house
  • 20g of salt
  • 800ml water


  1. Feed his leaven already prepared in advance : add 85 g of flour and 85 grams of water (calculate using a scale) and let stand at room temperature.
  2. After a few hours, test the starter by placing a very small amount on the water. If it floats, it is the time to use it.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour and water. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Pinch the yeast in the mixture. Add the salt and 50 g of water. Knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  5. Let the dough rest in a sealed container for 30 minutes, in a place up to 29 °C.
  6. Resume kneading for 6 or 7 times leaving 30 minutes of rest between two sessions.
  7. Cut the dough in half, pouring each part on a floured work surface and form two balls by folding the edges.
  8. Take a banneton or a colander and cover with a linen dish towel flour. Drop gently the ball of bread and cover it with the edges
    of the cloth.
  9. Let stand overnight in the refrigerator.
  10. The next day, put the dough on a baking paper flour. Make a few slits on the top with a blade that is very sharp.


  • Heat the oven to 260 °C (500 °F) with a cast iron pot with at least three times the size of the bread.
  • Place the dough and the baking paper in the pan. Cook with the lid on for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the oven off and slightly open the door. Leave the bread in the oven 20 min.
  • Remove bread and let cool 2 hours before slicing.
  • Repeat the same steps for the second loaf.
Share Button