5 Reasons to Make Sourdough Your Only Bread on Real Food Forager

Click here to see the rest of the post, including some interesting history on sourdough.

5 Benefits to Sourdough Preparation

1- Increases beneficial lactic acid

The longer rise time needed for sourdough increases the lactic acid and creates an ideal pH for the enzyme phytase. This enzyme breaks down phytates (read more about the dangers of phytic acid here) more effectively than in yeast breads. Sourdough rye has the least amount of phytates (somehow the Swiss culture mentioned above must have known this) making it a healthier bread.

2- Predigestion of starches

The bacteria and yeast in the sourdough culture work to predigest the starches in the grains, thus making it more easily digestible to the consumer.

3- Breakdown of gluten

Here again, the longer soaking and rising times in the preparation of sourdough breaks the protein gluten into amino acids, making it more digestible.

4- Preservative

The acetic acid which is produced along with lactic acid, helps preserve the bread by inhibiting the growth of mold.

5- Better blood glucose regulation

There has been some research suggesting that sourdough bread — sourdough white bread — showed positive physiological responses. The subjects’ blood glucose levels were lower after eating sourdough white bread compared to whole wheat, whole wheat with barley and plain white bread. Interestingly, the subjects tested after eating whole wheat bread fared the worse — with spiking blood glucose levels.

Additionally, the researchers found that the positive response lasted through the next meal and for several hours after that. They concluded that what you have for breakfast will influence how the body responds to the next meal.

This is all well and good, but the most pressing reason is the TASTE! That tangy, slightly sour taste is awesome! If you eat grains, make sourdough your primary source of grains.

From Cynthia Graber's article in Mother Jones, Michael Pollan Explains What's Wrong With the Paleo Diet.

For the full article click here.

Space Monkey Pics  /Shutterstock

Space Monkey Pics/Shutterstock

Humans can live on bread alone.

Paleo obsessives might shun bread, but bread, as it has been traditionally made, is a healthy way to access a wide array of nutrients from grains.

In Cooked, Pollan describes how bread might have been first created: Thousands of years ago, someone probably in ancient Egypt discovered a bubbling mash of grains and water, the microbes busily fermenting what would become dough. And unbeknownst to those ancient Egyptians, the fluffy, delicious new substance had been transformed by those microbes. Suddenly the grains provided even more bang for the bite.

As University of California-Davis food chemist Bruce German told Pollan in an interview, "You could not survive on wheat flour. But you can survive on bread." Microbes start to digest the grains, breaking them down in ways that free up more of the healthful parts. If bread is compared to another method of cooking flour—basically making it into porridge—"bread is dramatically more nutritious," says Pollan.

Still, common bread made from white flour and commercial yeast doesn't have the same nutritional content as the slowly fermented and healthier sourdough bread you might find at a local baker. Overall, though, bread can certainly be part of a nutritious diet. (At least, for those who don't suffer from celiac disease.)

Long-Fermented Breads for the Gluten-Sensitive Taste Great

From Bon Appetit: Written by Hannah Wallace.  Click here for the full article.

Walnut Levain from   Runner & Stone  , Brooklyn, NYC   (Credit: Mayumi Kasuga)

Walnut Levain from Runner & Stone, Brooklyn, NYC (Credit: Mayumi Kasuga)

No one really knows why celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that’s caused by eating gluten, and gluten sensitivities are on the rise. But celiac disease researchers and plant geneticists have some solid theories, one of which is the abbreviated fermentation times used at industrial bakeries.

“Most of the plastic-wrap bread you find at grocery stores is made very quickly with yeast–it goes from flour to plastic-wrap in three hours or less,” says Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder who is the director of the Washington State University Research Center at Mount Vernon.

What that means is that gluten proteins don’t have time to break down as they would in a bread made by traditional methods, where fermentation takes place over 18 to 25 hours, and that makes it harder to digest. It’s possible, celiac experts theorize, that after years of eating highly processed bread, our guts are rejecting it.

Thankfully, there’s a resurgence of craft bakeries around the country that make bread the old-fashioned way. All of these bakeries ferment their dough with wild yeasts for at least 12-15 hours–often much longer. This not only improves the digestibility of the bread but also lowers its glycemic index. All of these bakers also use “whole-milled” whole wheat flour–that is, flour that’s been milled from its intact state. (To make white flour, industrial mills separate the endosperm from the more nutritious bran and germ. They add them back for whole wheat flour, but some craft bakers speculate that the germ, which goes rancid quickly when removed from the endosperm, is either not added back or is “denatured.”) 

Claudia Orgill at Get Well, Live Well, Be Well also has some great information from a variety of sources pulled together in one post about the benefits of naturally leavened bread.