My dear SourdoughManiacs, sourdough is coming back in great swing. Mostly thanks to the covid virus that gave us enough time to experiment at home in our own kitchen. And also because there was shortage of commercial yeast. If there’s no yeast in the store, what can we do? We turn to the old proven ways bread was once made with only flour, water, and salt.
But you might ask: Is sourdough bread really good for me?
I would say most definitely. Let me explain why.
- Sourdough bread is fermented bread. Fermentation is the key to unlocking the hidden potential of grains. There are two types of microorganisms present in a sourdough starter, namely wild yeast responsible for the increase in size, for proofing the dough. Wild yeast is also a bit responsible for flavour. And then there are lactic acid bacteria who digest the starch in the flour into simple sugars which they feed on. Making the final product easier to digest for us.
- Lower glycaemic index. As the starch is already pre-digested, sourdough bread doesn’t spike your blood sugar as normal yeasted bread would.
- Unlocking the vitamins and nutrients in the grains. By proper fermentation, the acidification unlocks the hidden nutrients and vitamins naturally present in the grains. The grains normally contain phytic acid which binds itself to vitamins and nutrients, but by fermentation this acid is broken down.
- Better digestible. With correct fermentation, the gluten gets degraded making it thus easier for our gut to digest.
- By making your own bread at home, you always know what ingredients you use. You choose, you define the flour, potential add-ins like seeds and nuts, cheese for example. Say goodbye to shady ingredients in your bread you can’t even pronounce.
- Longer keeping properties. With fermentation, the final product has a better shelf life, and it even prevents the mold from growing.
- Better flavour. Fermentation gives sourdough bread its distinctive flavour profile and sensory characteristics.
- It is more fulfilling. One piece might be enough, however, as it is so delicious it’s difficult to have just one slice.
All those benefits are related to proper fermentation, longer one, more than 15 hours (even better 24, this time reference was given to me by the sourdough librarian Karl de Smedt from the first Sourdough Library in the world in St. Vith, Belgium) from mixing the dough to baking it. By doing this, you will mostly definitely need to use your fridge to prolong the fermentation making the bread more nutritious and delicious.
Start baking the best bread there is out there and you will do yourself, your health, your family a great favour with lots of flavour too.
Enjoy your day and let’s bake the world a better place.
Yours truly fermented,
p.s. If you need some help with your sourdough bread, check my online video classes HERE. And see that sourdough baking can be made simpler than ever with less hands-on time.