Sourdough bread is a pungent sour flavored bread that is rich in flavor as well as history.
History and Legends
Making sourdough bread dates back to biblical times. It is often believed to be a better choice of breads because of the healthful nature of the fermentation process which makes it sour.
Some legends have it that sourdough bread which does not contain baking powder as an ingredient gained in popularity due to a belief that baking powder was an anti-aphrodisiac. Men who did not want to chance there virility on eating baking powder biscuits choose instead sourdough bread.
Sourdough was a main staple on one of the first expeditions to the top of Mount Mc Kinley.
Sourdough by any Other Name
Sourdough has come to be known by many names across America. In California pioneers called it sourdough while in cattle country it was known as chuck wagon bread. Pioneers called sourdough cellar biscuits or cellar bread because it was kept in the cellar while in Philadelphia the pioneers called it yeast dough and could buy a cup of sourdough starter for a penny. In Kentucky sourdough is known by the name of spook yeast and used to bake up spook bread.
Because metal will cause a chemical reaction and ruin your sourdough the starter can never be stored in a metal container. Traditionally sourdough starter was kept in a wooden pot in a warm draft free location in the kitchen. Glass can be used but wood was the preference because it held a more consistent temperature than glass and did not break as easily during travel.
Sourdoughs Many Uses
Sourdough starter can be used in a variety of foods such as bread, hotcakes, cookies, cakes and waffles. Sourdough has even been used in less familiar ways such as in tanning hides, as a plaster to cure an aching back, as a glue for a sealing a letter and as paste to paper a cabin.