A little while ago, I did a “Thank You” blog for reaching 500 likes by sharing a recipe for authentic Amish Friendship Bread. This bread is a type of sour dough bread, and the starter is shared to daughters on their wedding day or to friends as a gift.
So just what is sourdough?…I mean REAL traditionally made and properly fermented sourdough…
Sourdough is one of the oldest forms of fermentation, possibly dating to ancient Egypt. It is a natural form of leavening, that was used for centuries. (until commercial brewers yeast came along)
Most leavened bread, or bread in which the dough rises, uses commercial yeast. However, traditionally made sourdough…REAL sourdough, uses what’s called “Wild Yeast” and lactic acid bacteria from the flour, to leaven the bread. Wild yeast is naturally present in the air and on the grains. Making the starter gives this wild yeast food to grow. The acidic nature of wild yeast, allows it to work with lactic acid bacteria, allowing the dough to grow and rise. Most fermented foods contain lactic acid, such as: yogurt, kefir, pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Here is a video, which discusses the science behind wild yeast and traditional sourdough bread.
What are the nutrition benefits of this type of bread? Nutrition content depends on the flour used, but in general the nutrition contents of an average piece of sourdough:
On average, one medium slice weighing approximately 2 ounces (56 g) contains (1):
- Calories: 162 calories
- Carbs: 32 grams
- Fiber: 2–4 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Selenium: 22% of the RDI
- Folate: 20% of the RDI
- Thiamin: 16% of the RDI
- Sodium: 16% of the RDI
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI
- Niacin: 14% of the RDI
- Iron: 12% of the RDI
Sourdough bread, especially whole grain sourdough, is considered more nutritious than regular bread. Why? Grains contain a substance known as “Phytic Acid”, AKA, phytates. In the field of nutrition, phytates are an “anti-nutrient”, because they “bind” the wonderful minerals present in whole grains, impeding your body’s ability to absorb them.
However, the lactic acid, present in sourdough bread, deteriorates the phytates in the grain, resulting in bread with a much lower phytate level. Some studies show that phytates, in sourdough, are reduced by as much as 25 – 50%, when compared with conventional bread, which increases mineral absorption (1). Also, the lactic acid and bacteria in sourdough themselves, release anti-oxidants. Studies show that folate levels, or vitamin B9, tend to be higher in sourdough bread.
Here are some other health benefits of sourdough bread (1):
- Due to the bacteria in the bread, sourdough is easier to digest than conventional bread. Could be safe for individuals with gluten sensitivities. Sourdough bread has a lower gluten content than conventional bread. The gluten that is present, tends to be easier to digest.
- Help control blood sugar. Some research indicates the carbohydrate molecules are changed during fermentation, lowering the speed in which it is digested. In other words, the sugar spike is lessened. One study showed that individuals who ate sourdough had lower blood sugar and insulin levels than people who ate conventional bread.
HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH
What is a STARTER? Mixing flour and water together and allowing it to set for several days, feeds the wild yeast, naturally present in the air and on the flour, allows the wild yeast to grow, making what is known as a “sourdough starter”.
Here is a video showing exactly how to make your own “wild yeast” sourdough starter:
Now that you have a starter, here are some bread recipes! ENJOY AND BON APPETIT!
KING ARTHUR FLOUR
KING ARTHUR FLOUR
1) Why Sourdough Bread Is One of the Healthiest Breads-This is the main source for this article. For more specific information and a step-by-step guide on to how to make a starter , follow this link.