Mixed Sourdough Starter w/ legumes and flax symbiosis
Greetings everyone. This is my first post here. I have been experimenting with sourdough for a couple of years now. When i started, i loved to make it, but then i was travelling, and i sadly resorted boiling whole grains and legumes.....i.e. rice and lentils and what-have-you. But i missed it and more-so recently i started again, and i realized that this is my food religion. Love it.
So, i am a big proponent of balanced nutrients. I love, also, the semi-digested elements of sourdough. I feel a better nutrition and energy. I am a big fan of using natural intuition, also, kind of like dowsing techniques when i cook. When i first got into making sourdough, i started an experiment with adding a small amount of chickpeas or other legume and ground up flax seed into the starter. I was wondering if there was information out there about making a mixed-culture symbiosis. (I had already actually done little experiments with some success, but i was still wondering about this, as it was new territory. I was really exited about it. It was like a scientific experiment for me.) Later on, the only information that i was able to find on it was a few sources. One being: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4618940/
This is very scientific, but it proved to me that people had good results.....
....and also, more importantly, i read about the "Eftazimo" Cretan bread, that uses Chickpeas. I also read, later, about how that culture supposedly uses fermented "vetch" (which is a legume), for their starter.....
So i went with using some wheat flour with some chickpea and flax flour added. I even was adding a balance of corn flour with the wheat, too. (I had been living in Mexico, prior to returning to the states, and i had initially started the experiment there. It was not until i returned to the US, that i read about this information above. In Mexico, i was learning to grow corn, and i even tried to grow a little wheat. I liked the aesthetic of growing, cleaning, and harvesting the corn. Their culture is primarily about corn tortillas, though they also have history of traditional farming of wheat. I wanted to incorporate the corn, especially because i was intending to eat the corn that i was learning to grow....So i started the experiment in Mexico, with the mixed culture. (also i wanted to see if i could avoid using "cal" (lime). They add lime to their tortillas. I wondered if i could get a sticky dough without it. I did not want to use my hand grinder with wet 'masa' either....I thought that i would just combine them together and call it good. That is when i figured out that it seemed to work. I made quite a few loaves, and I was eating it. Baking it under the large comal (that they use to make tortillas and for the stove top), after they were done in the kitchen and i could jimmy-rig a stove, with the coals.) Up in the states, i got to experiment more with it, and once i got a really healthy culture going, it was delicious. I also tried using little, red lentils, which worked good and had a good flavor. (Note: anytime that i switched between different legumes or seeds (i am sure grains, too, to a lesser extent), there was a sort of "lag time", in which the culture was adjusting to the new elements and adjusting its natural probiotic enzymes to digest it. So i find something that works, and i then add roughly the same ingredients, and i use my intuition.) I found that the green lentils stank. I did not like them, in the past, but i don't know what would happen if i let them digest longer...... I have recently used black-eyed peas, and they had a wonderful smell. That is how i started this new mixed culture. Really good. I don't have any of that left, right now, and so i gave 'Great Northern' beans a shot, and it actually works. I am just using some 'great northern' bean flour mixed in. Surely there are better options, but it works. I found that a good loaf of mixed and balanced bread has something of a "cheesy?" flavor to it. I am imagining that may have a lot to do with the digesting flax, especially, being as though it has fat/oils to it. Probably a mix... I personally believe that it is really a good taste.
I just want to share that with you, because i think that there is great potential in experimenting with this, but i read very little information in regards to it. Probably there is an audience in here that does this too? I am excited to hear that ancient Greece was into it....
I used to have a simple, hand mill, but lately i have been using a Nutri Bullet with a special "mill" blade attachment. The flour is a tad bit more course, maybe, than it should, but it is still leavening fine. It is a fit of a thick bread, but i love it, and funny enough, as i look at those Scandanavian breads that they use for Smorgasbords, i am seeing much similarity, only that i have "self-standing" and it is not such a wet, batter consistency, and it is not so tall and square. Sometimes i add a little sugar to my starter (very little), with intuition, to give it a bit of a boost, and to give it a little nudge to break into its main body (also adjusting acid content), but this is not all the time, as i am primarily using this very little amount of sugar to add a little bit of a "digestive juice". I want to try and experiment with sprouting and drying grains, too, to use them for my flours, because, from what i understand, they have a higher sugar content to them. I would like to try and experiment and factor in a balance with that included.
I want to share this info with you. I hope that you enjoyed. I will have to experiment more and more with all of this. I have had good success in leavening, but i am wagering that potentially one would not have such a light and leavened bread, as compared to pure grains? But then again, those 'Eftazimo' breads look like they got quite a reaction. I would need to get a finer flour and also, i believe, i can be using a better option than 'Great Northern' beans, right now. But none-the-less, i am getting sufficient rising and it makes a great, dense bread. I make numerous slices going down my not-so-tall bread so that i can kind of just break off bread sticks and scoop up my vegetables and what-have-you. I lived in Mexico for years, and so i like the tortilla vibe....But i love the leavening. (I feel that i am connecting with my Scandinavian roots a bit right now.) Anyways, it makes a great and holistic bread. I have a better digestion now, and i love the rounded taste to it. Plus, more or less, i don't need to cook anything more than some simple vegetables with some oils and thick fats and things, because it is well balanced. i.e./ i used to cook up a bean dip....now, i don't need as much on the side.
Hope you appreciate the word. Let me know if you have any thoughts on it. Be well.