We all, to some extent, have an affinity with bread despite some negative publicity in recent times. While there is some validity to the bread bashing, sourdough bread is absolutely defying the trend.
Why? Here are 10 good reasons:
1. Digestive system – The fermentation process alone is beneficial for our digestive system. The lactobacillus (good bacteria created in the fermentation process) enhances our digestive system (tract), noting that most of our immune system is actually found in our digestive system;
2. Lactic Acid – Lactobacillus produces lactic acid which, in turn, breaks down the potentially dangerous phytic acid (which locks up all the healthy minerals) meaning more minerals are released for our bodies to absorb;
3. Nutrients – In the long slow fermentation process that produces sourdough bread, important nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, folic acid and other B vitamins are produced and absorbed easier by our digestive system;
4. Gluten – Also, in the fermentation process, gluten (a protein contained in the wheat flour) is broken down into 18 types of amino acids making it easier to digest, sometimes even by people with gluten sensitivity;
5. Lower GI – The natural or wild yeast breaks down the starch contained in flour hence converts that starch into glucose. During fermentation, most of the glucose is absorbed by the wild yeast. That’s why sourdough, made the correct way, doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels like fast processed bread does. In fact, research shows that “Sourdough bread rates a 68 on the glycaemic index as opposed to the rating of 100 by other breads. Foods that have low ratings on the glycaemic index are prominent in societies that tend to have lower incidence of diseases and unhealthy conditions that run rampant in our culture such as diabetes” – . H. G. Liljeberg, et al., “Sourdough Fermentation or Addition of Organic Acids or Corresponding Salts to Bread Improves Nutritional Properties of Starch in Healthy Humans,” Journal of Nutrition 125 (6)1503-11, 199
6. Acetic acid – Here’s another little tid bit. Acetic acid is produced in the fermentation process. This acts to inhibit the growth of mould so the sourdough naturally preserves itself. Who needs all those toxic preservatives?
7. Test of Time – Sourdough has stood the test of time. Around 6000 years, in fact. The reason it has survived is because it has been crafted in harmony with nature. Remember, all good things take time.
8. Our sourdough – Shepherd’s sourdough is made the traditional, authentic way – without the addition of commercial yeast, refined sugar, dairy, egg, preservatives, additives, emulsifiers or any of those nasty numbers. Beware of Cheap Imitations!
10. Freezes well – Quite often sourdough tastes best a day or two after it’s baked. This is because the acid has more time to work its magic. Sourdough bread freezes very well, so you can store and minimise wastage.