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Now an ebook!
Coming soon in paperback!

SMART SOURDOUGH

The No‑Starter, No‑Waste, No‑Cheat, No‑Fail Way to Make Naturally Fermented Bread in 24 Hours or Less with a Home Proofer, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, Sous Vide Cooker, or Other Warmer

Photo: Loaf of smart sourdough

By Mark Shepard
Foreword by Anne L. Watson

NO STARTER — NO WASTE — NO CHEAT — NO FAIL

NATURALLY FERMENTED BREAD IN JUST 24 HOURS

There’s sourdough, and then there’s smart sourdough—a whole new approach to an ancient bread!

Most sourdough recipes lead you through days or even weeks of developing a starter before you can make your bread—and then into a lifetime of maintaining that starter. But this book is based on the belief that all that rigmarole is no longer needed. With modern methods of regulating temperature, and with the easy availability of baker’s yeast, honest-to-goodness naturally fermented sourdough bread can be made from start to finish in less than a day.

With all the benefits of naturally fermented sourdough, it’s only the hassle of making it that has discouraged home bakers. Well, hassle no more. The age of smart sourdough has arrived.

Mark Shepard began baking his own sourdough bread in 1979 and went on to publish the bestselling booklet Simple Sourdough. In 2012, he began developing a sourdough method that’s even simpler and more reliable—one that could be used by anyone, with no fear of failure. Mark now lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife and fellow author, Anne L. Watson.


Shepard Publications

Paperback ~ 2021

Ebook ~ 2021

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Book front cover Book back cover


Reviews and Comments

“After reading Mark’s very detailed book, I’m now armed with all I need to know to successfully ferment bread. Sections such as ‘Sourdough Superstitions,’ ‘Who’s Afraid of Baker’s Yeast,’ and ‘Flour Fallacies’ erased any questions I had about his process. He even has a section on ‘Smart Cleanup’ that harnesses the power of microbes. Smart!”—Holly Howe, author of Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut


Contents

Foreword by Anne L. Watson

Getting Started

Sourdough Superstitions

Who’s Afraid of Baker’s Yeast?

The Right Ingredients

Flour Fallacies

The Right Equipment

Why Weigh Your Flour?

The Right Conditions

The Right Method

The Right Setup

Brød & Taylor Proofer Setup

Instant Pot Setup

Sous Vide Setup

Testing Your Setup

Sponge Setup Test

Loaf Setup Test

Making Smart Sourdough

Smart Sourdough (recipe sketch)

Smart Sourdough (full recipe)

Starting with Salt

The Joy of Kneading

Oven Enigmas

Smart Cleanup

Testing Your Sourdough

Scaling Your Sourdough

Smart Sourdough (Medium Loaf)

Smart Sourdough (Small Loaf)

Smart Sourdough (Double Large Loaf)

Smart Sourdough (Double Medium Loaf)

Smart Sourdough (Triple Medium Loaf)

Customizing Your Sourdough

Smart Sourdough (100% Whole Wheat)

Smart Sourdough (25% Whole Wheat)

Smart Sourdough (Less Sour)

Smart Sourdough (More Sour)

Smart Sourdough (San Francisco Style)

Smart Sourdough (Mark’s Loaf)

Diversifying Your Sourdough

Smart Rye Sourdough

Smart Buckwheat Sourdough

Smart Barley Sourdough

Smart Barley Pumpernickel

Smart Tomato Basil Sourdough

Smart Buckwheat Walnut Sourdough

Smart Mediterranean Sourdough

Smart Middle Eastern Sourdough

Smart Raisin Sourdough

Smart Chocolate Cherry Sourdough

Baking in the Round

Making Sourdough Bread Bowls

Grinding Your Own Flour

NutriMill Tips

Making Sourdough Pizza

Smart Sourdough Pizza Dough

Mark’s Sourdough Skillet Pizza

Making Sourdough Pancakes

Smart Sourdough No-Rise Pancakes

Smart Sourdough Malt Pancakes

Smart Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes

Smart Sourdough Rice Pancakes

Smart Dosa

Mark’s Masala Dosa

Beyond Sourdough

Frequently Asked Questions

Sourdough vs. Salt-Rising

Index


Sample Text

Getting Started

If you’ve never made sourdough before, you’ll be surprised how simple it can be. And if you have made sourdough before, you may be even more surprised!

Most sourdough recipes lead you through days or even weeks of developing a starter before you can make your bread—and then into a lifetime of maintaining that starter. But this book is based on the belief that all that rigmarole is no longer needed. With modern methods of regulating temperature, and with the easy availability of (gasp!) baker’s yeast, honest-to-goodness naturally fermented sourdough bread can be made from start to finish in less than a day.

Let me explain. Though sourdough bakers often talk about collecting “wild yeast” in their starters, what they’re actually trying to collect is a combination of yeast and bacteria—a special kind called lactic acid bacteria, named after the main acid they give off.

If the name lactic acid sounds exotic or intimidating, it doesn’t have to. It’s what creates sourness or tang in sour cream, yogurt, and many other milk products—which is why it’s called lactic, or “related to milk.” It’s also the main source of sourness in pickles and sauerkraut whenever they’re naturally fermented instead of made with vinegar.

All those foods are produced with bacteria of the same family found in sourdough. And it’s these bacteria, rather than any kind of yeast, that make sourdough what it is.

In case you have any doubt about that, consider these advantages of making naturally fermented sourdough over making conventional yeast bread:

• Gives the bread a delicious sourness or tang.

• Weakens the gluten, making it easier to digest for people who might otherwise have trouble with it.

• Adds acids that slow the digestion of starches, for a lower glycemic index and improved blood sugar response.

• Reduces amounts of antinutrients like phytic acid and lectins, making nutrients in the flour more available to you.

• Resists spoilage in the baked bread and keeps it fresher longer.

Every one of these advantages is produced chiefly or entirely by the sourdough bacteria, not the sourdough yeast. And the one job that is chiefly handled by the sourdough yeast—making the bread rise—is done as well or better by baker’s yeast.

That being true, why worry about sourdough yeast at all? A good part of the labor of traditional sourdough is keeping the yeast going strong in a starter. In place of that, why not focus on nurturing the bacteria and just add a bit of baker’s yeast at the end? Not so strangely, that’s exactly how sourdough is made today in many commercial bakeries!

And there’s more. With yeast out of the equation, it turns out you can get flour to ferment very quickly, even from scratch. So quickly, in fact, you don’t need a starter at all. Just add water to whole grain flour, keep the mixture at a good temperature for a matter of hours, and occasionally add more flour. You’ll get sourdough every time.

With all the benefits of naturally fermented sourdough, it’s only the hassle of making it that has discouraged home bakers. Well, hassle no more. The age of smart sourdough has arrived.


| About Mark’s Sourdough Books | | Mark’s Sourdough Page | | Mark’s Home Page |
| Search | | New | | Contact |