Sourdough Bread has amazing health benefits, considering it’s “just bread.” What do we mean by “Old World?” It’s sourdough bread that is artisan made with a full ferment and retarding stage, typically taking 3 days to complete. Grocery store “sourdough” is sometimes made sour by adding vinegar, and that doesn’t count! It’s not Old World Sourdough.
The health benefits are all because of the magic of the starter, that combination of yeast and bacteria that forms the basis of all things sourdough! This amazing mixture is essentially the same thing as a SCOBY, for those of you who make your own Kombucha! SCOBY is a “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast” and is what makes Kombucha, well, Kombucha, and is also what makes sourdough bread, sourdough bread!
Sourdough is easier to digest than regular bread and can actually be eaten by diabetics and those who normally don’t tolerate gluten. The reason for this is that a properly made loaf of sourdough takes at least two days to make, we generally take 3 days, and in that time, the yeast and bacteria are pre-digesting the proteins and gluten in the bread, making it much easier on your stomach!
The probiotics in bread are the bacteria in the starter, which incorporates throughout the bread. The probiotics don’t survive the baking process, but by then they’ve done their work of creating lactic acid, which is very good for you! So you’re getting the benefits of a fermented food every time you eat sourdough!
Why is lactic acid good in bread? It sounds like a milk intolerance thing! But it’s not, lactic acid reduces Phytate levels, which interfere with absorption of vitamins and minerals. So it’s more nutritious for two reasons: the first is that it’s usually made with unbleached flour, so there are more nutrients there to begin with, and the second is that your body can absorb the nutrients more easily, which makes it more nutritious!!
The real sourdough breads you buy at the Sourdough Bakery Wilsonville also contain no sugar. Commercial volume bakeries load their bread with sugar for a couple reasons, first to make it sweeter, but also to activate the yeast quicker. That’s why commercial breads are so airy and fluffy, the yeast was supercharged on high doses of sugar, just like feeding bread a big bottle of sugary soda! In fact, commercial bread is frequently made in less than 6 hours from start to finish, as opposed to the 3 days it takes at small independent bakeries like us.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits is that a loaf of sourdough scratch made at your local independent bakery is not going to be loaded up with chemicals and preservatives and dough softeners! In fact, most sourdough only has about 4 ingredients! Flour, starter, water, salt and a little oil, and that’s it!
So pop on down to your local bakery and pick up a loaf or two!