Move Over Sourdough Breads, It’s Time For Sourdough Roti
Image Credit: Sourdough roti

During lockdown the trend of banana bread took the whole internet by storm. What followed next was the rise of sourdough where most were seen proofing and seeing it rise. The patient wait of sees the starter rise was an entertainment in itself. It won’t be wrong to say that sourdough is still much simple, almost like an intermediate-level bread-making.

The trick of sourdough baking lies in the fact to maintain a healthy sourdough starter and regular feeding with regular discarding. As we are all more inclined towards making sourdough breads, we forget to look back in our own Indian kitchen where sourdough breads were always a part of.  Sourdough bread should have a healthy sourdough starter and regular feeding with discarding at regular intervals. The word discard might not be meaning the same in real sense as when you add the so called discarded culture to your everyday roti, paratha, kulcha, bhatura (type of Indian flat bread), without actually collecting, by this you will end uo making a much healthier meals. Sourdough roti’s are much healthy without any acidity or bloating. Even in authentic Himachali cuisine there’s also the use of Maleda, something that’s similar to a sourdough starter that’s used to make bhaturoo. This maleda is a dense in structure which ferments overnight. or for a few hours. Unlike sourdough starter that takes weeks,  maleda is made fresh when breads being made at home. 

Chef Gagandeep Bedi , Executive Chef, Roseate House, New Delhi “While sour dough roti isn't a new dish, it was sidelined on most menus earlier and has become popular only recently. This popularity can be attributed to a few factors. As guests are becoming more conscious and are weighing health benefits before ordering from the menu, dishes that are healthy are getting attention. Owing to natural fermentation sour dough roti is extremely good for gut health. It has low glycemic index which helps in maintaining blood glucose levels. Since the baking process involves slow fermentation, the bread causes less bloating as compared to regular bread, which is leavened with the use of yeasts and baking powder. It is not just the health benefits, gastronomes have also discovered the superlative taste of this roti. The natural sourness and chewiness of the bread makes it delicious.

On day-to-day basis the so called discard can be used to make breads, cakes, dosas, idlis, rotis, and more. This also helps you to cut down on the use of yeast wherevers required along with other rising agents like baking powder, baking soda, or even fruit salt or eno. The discard makes for a much healthier option to help the bread in rising. Not to forget that in Indian cooking slow fermentation techniques and ancient grains these have been age old methods across time, age and culture. 

Chef Abhijeet Bagwe, executive chef, W Goa adds “Yeast shortages last year led many home cooks to get on the sourdough wagon, which was wonderful, because sourdough is really one of the most amazing things you can put into your mouths and your bellies. It not only creates baked goods that are incredibly tasty, but the starches in these foods are pre-digested by probiotic bacteria, making them better for you.

One of my favorite ways to use it is in roti or chapati, a flatbread eaten nearly every day in many Indian homes. I began recommending the use of sourdough discard in rotis and naans and parathas to my Indian readers asking for ideas on what to do with sourdough discard. The more I used it in Indian flatbreads, the more impressed I was. Now I rarely make rotis without sourdough, they're that good”

So if sourdough starter is there in the kitchen think twice before you throw away that starter.