Bread - the gift of God - said our ancestors.
Evolving over the 7,000 years humans have consumed fermented food and drink, the ability of strains of Bacteroides thetaiotomicron (Bt) to degrade yeasts is almost exclusively found in the human gut.
Sourdough, also called fermented or wild-yeasted bread, is not a flavor; it's the process where the breakdown of gluten and sugar occurs thanks to yeast and bacteria and becomes minerals, vitamins, and protein.
Most modern bread is made with baker's yeast. Sourdough starter is the traditional way of making bread.
Over the years, we’ve learned so much that makes our modern lives wonderful but we’ve lost some great traditions too. Traditions that would make us healthier and simplify life. These 3 ancient traditions are not secrets but how to use them is somewhat of a lost art so we’re hoping to help others put them into practice.
Commercial yeast as we know it today was not readily available until the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Written sources dating back to the ancient Egyptians document leavened bread.
Until the 19th century, all bread was what we modernly refer to as “sourdough”, meaning that was fermented with “wild” yeast and lactobacilli. That does not necessary mean that all bread was sour. Many “sourdough” cultures produce bread that is not particularly sour, and even with cultures that can produce very sour bread, the shorter the fermentation period the less sour the finished product will be.
What Makes Fermented Bread Healthier?
Fermented breads like sourdough are healthier and easier to digest thanks to the microbial community involved in the fermentation process. Microbial strains pre-digest the irritating starches and gluten molecules, breaking them down into a more tolerable and digestible form.1,2 This is why properly-fermented sourdough is often suitable for celiac patients and people with gluten intolerance.3 Additionally, the right microbes will produce added nutrients and reduce toxins, further increasing the quality of the food.4,5 The sourdough fermentation process turns the bad stuff in bread into good stuff, making it a healthier option!
Tips for Selecting Healthy Sourdough Bread.
In general, stay away from store-bought sourdough bread, which is often made “sour” not by fermentation, but by adding a sour flavoring agent. When buying sourdough from a bakery, proceed with caution because many bakeries do not actually ferment the bread overnight. Ask questions to make sure it has undergone the proper fermentation process, which takes at least 24 hours.
Here’s what to look for:
Traditional recipe containing a starter culture
24-hour period of rising before baking
No enzymes or flavors
Bread may be a convenient part of your diet, but it’s not always the best choice—unless it’s fermented!
If you're intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, you know how hard it is to find a good-tasting bread. Most gluten-free bread are dense, dry and expensive. But wheat bread may be making a comeback for the gluten-intolerant thanks to new research on sourdough. It turns out this old-fashioned baking technique may help break down gluten in wheat. Sourdough is not only good for baking but may also help heal the gut in those newly diagnosed with celiac disease.
No matter how much kale you eat or how many spin classes you got in this week, if your gut is out of whack, it doesn’t matter, says expert Brenda Watson.
“A healthy gut is the foundation for total body health. When your digestion is not functioning optimally, it not only affects the digestive system, but it can also reach many different systems of the body, including the nervous and cardiovascular systems,” says Watson.