Sourdough bread is the kind of bread that you slather thick with butter and eat with soup when snow falls and winds howl (perfect at the moment then!)
This is sourdough bread – tangy and moist, dense and nutty. It is the bread made for centuries before the invention of commercial yeast packets.
Health Benefits of Sourdough
Sourdough breads are leavened by a starter that contain natural yeasts and acids. The airborne yeast creates the enzymes needed to eat up or predigest some of the toughest-on-your-belly parts of the grain. This action creates carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in tiny pockets of dough, resulting in a natural rising of the bread.
BREAKS DOWN GLUTEN
The longer soaking/rising time breaks the proteins (gluten) down into amino acids, making it more easily digested. This is why some who have a gluten sensitivity can tolerate sourdough wheat breads.
BETTER NUTRIENT PROFILE
Like all other fermentation processes, the bacteria present in the sourdough starter eat the starch and sugars present in the grain. This results in a lowering of the starch or carbohydrate content of the bread, which is helpful for keeping blood sugar levels regulated. It also increases some of the vitamin and mineral content of the grain.
NATURALLY PRESERVES THE BREAD
The lactic acid in the bread creates a lovely tang and predigests the grain for you. The acetic acid produced in the souring process helps the bread to store longer, inhibiting the growth of molds.
Finally, the bacteria present in the sourdough help to activate phytase, an enzyme that breaks down an anti-nutrient present in all grains, beans, and seeds – phytic acid. This may seem minor, but phytic acid is known to strip your body of minerals and can be hard on your digestion.
None of this can be said of the quick action of commercial yeast!!
Interested in a Sourdough starter? Look here