Sourdough starter

AULUS is the secret weapon in ALBA’s pizzas

Our sourdough starter has been fermenting for 160 years. We first encountered Aulus during our time in Berlin, and we decided to blend it with some of the starter given to us from our founder Meagan's mom, Nanci. Originating in Iceland, Aulus now powers the leavening of our dough at ALBA. It relies on natural fermentation using wild yeasts and lactobacillus bacteria present in the surrounding environment. This process enhances the nutritional profile of our sourdough pizzas and contributes to their distinct flavors and textures. Aulus resides in our fermentation chamber and prefers to slowly ferment in our fridge for 48 hours.

During this natural fermentation process, our sourdough breaks down gluten and phytic acid, making the dough more digestible for individuals with mild gluten sensitivities, or those looking to reduce their gluten intake. Please note that this does not apply to people with celiac disease. The fermentation of the sourdough increases the availability and absorption of certain nutrients, such as minerals like magnesium and zinc, and B vitamins like folate and riboflavin, making the dough more nutritious compared to conventionally leavened dough. 

Our pizza dough, which is solely produced with Aulus and nothing else, has a lower glycemic index compared to dough made with commercial yeast. This results in a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels, making it a favorable option for individuals managing their blood sugar levels. The fermentation and longer rising times of our sourdough imparts a unique, tangy flavor and aroma to the bread, enhancing its overall taste and appeal. We love that sourdough has a rich history and tradition, and that it brings people together through shared experiences of baking, passing down starter cultures, and appreciating the craft and artistry involved.

FAQs

What is a base recipe for a sourdough pizza?

Sourdough Starter: 400g (fed and active) Water: 816g for 68% hydration, Flour Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 1200g Salt: 40g Olive Oil: 80g (optional, for a softer crust)

How do I know if my sourdough starter is ready to use?

Your sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size, has a bubbly and frothy appearance, and has a pleasant, slightly tangy aroma. This usually occurs within 4 to 8 hours after feeding, depending on room temperature and the activity level of your starter.

How often should I feed my sourdough starter?

Feed your sourdough starter regularly, typically once every 12 to 24 hours, depending on room temperature and activity level.

What should I do after receiving a sourdough starter?

After receiving a sourdough starter, begin by feeding it regularly to maintain its health and activity. Consider using organic or bio flour for feeding, as it tends to contain more natural microbial diversity, which can contribute to a more robust and flavorful sourdough culture.

How can I increase the quantity of my sourdough starter effectively and safely?

To increase the quantity of your sourdough starter, you can gradually increase the amount of flour and water you feed it during regular feedings. For example, if your usual feeding ratio is 1:1:1 (equal parts flour, water, and starter), you can double the amounts to 2:2:2. Then, as the starter becomes more active, you can gradually increase the feeding ratio further. So, for instance, you might progress to 3:3:3, 4:4:4, and so on. Be sure to maintain the hydration ratio to keep the starter healthy and active.

How can I maintain my sourdough starter when traveling?

When traveling, feed your sourdough starter and refrigerate it for 1-2 days before leaving. If it's a short trip (1-2 weeks), it can be left unfed in the refrigerator. For longer trips, freeze a portion or dehydrate it for reactivation upon return.

Can I keep the sourdough starter in the fridge?

Yes, you can store your sourdough starter in the refrigerator to slow down its activity. Feed it regularly (approximately once a week) to keep it active.

How do you feed your sourdough starter?

We feed our sourdough starter with Tumminia ancient grain flower. Using tumminia ancient grains in sourdough fermentation contributes to a balanced acidity level due to itsnatural properties, potentially resulting in a milder and more complex acidic profile compared to conventional wheat, enhancing the overall flavor and digestibility of the sourdough pizza..

Does sourdough contain less gluten?

Sourdough pizza contains less gluten due to the fermentation process breaking down some of the gluten proteins, making it easier to digest for individuals with gluten sensitivity.

Why is sourdough healthier than beer yeast?

Sourdough fermentation involves lactic acid bacteria which may offer potential health benefits, such as improved digestion and absorption of nutrients, compared to beer yeast fermentation.