My journey with sourdough began during covid….some people got puppies, I made Stella – our sourdough starter. And while time isn’t as plentiful now as it was then, I still continue to make sourdough bread regularly. It’s a pastime that has been rewarding in many ways.
What is sourdough bread?
Sourdough bread is made by fermenting flour and water, which breaks down the sugars and produces lactic acid. This process makes the bread more nutritious and easier to digest. And also gives it a naturally tangy flavour, which is characteristic of sourdough.
Sourdough bread is beneficial for people with gluten sensitivity, as the fermentation process breaks down the proteins that can cause problems for some people. It is also a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health.Eating sourdough bread can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and even reduce bloating.
The benefits of sourdough bread
This fermentation process unleashes enzymes and beneficial bacteria that help to break down the sugars and proteins in the flour, which helps to make the bread more digestible and nutritious.
The benefits include improved digestion, as the fermentation process helps to break down the proteins that can be difficult to digest. Sourdough is a source of probiotics and an excellent source of pre-biotics that feed the good bacteria in our guts. Finally, sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than other types of bread, so it may help to control blood sugar levels.
The difference between sourdough and other types of bread
The fermentation process is the key. Other types of bread are made using quick-acting yeast, while sourdough is made using a slow cultured starter that is made with water and flour. The starter is left to ferment for several days, which is what gives sourdough its unique flavour and texture. You can buy sourdough at local bakeries and grocery stores, and even starting with a store bought variety will offer some health benefits.
How to make your own sourdough bread
Making your own sourdough can be intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. Start by making a sourdough starter, which is a mixture of flour and water left to ferment for several days. Once the starter is active, you can use it to make your own bread. You will need to mix the ingredients, knead the dough, and let it rise and continue to ferment before baking. You can also experiment with different flavours, fours and baking techniques. Your starter can be used for many different baked goods – pancakes, breads, muffins, cakes and more.
Slow down. Connect with your food. Pet your puppy.
Sourdough bread is a nutritious and delicious bread that can be beneficial for digestion and gut health. Making sourdough bread may seem daunting, but with a little practice it can be a rewarding experience. I have been making my own sourdough for over a year and each time I am reminded of how rewarding slowing down, and connecting with my food can be. Stella, my starter, has become a family pet who is cared for and nourishes her family in return.
And in the spirit of full disclosure, I did get a covid-puppy too…Two actually – Rosie and Hazel – who also happen to enjoy a nibble of sourdough here and there as well!