I’m going to preface this post by saying that I generally try to steer clear of breads and pastas as they are usually quite processed and can contain loads of sugars, oils, and preservatives. BUT, boyfriend is now entering another hockey season and needs more carbs than ever so I’ve looked up the healthiest sources of carbs and I’m excited to announce that we’ll be experimenting with our very own sourdough starter to make sourdough bread!
So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to our sourdough baby, Sour P. (you can see his picture above) and he’s been quite the handful (not really), but we love him and feed him every day. And oh baby it’s going to be worth it. I don’t have my own recipe for a sourdough starter as I’m a complete and total bread noob, so I followed Joshua Weissman’s youtube video called “The Ultimate Sourdough Starter Guide.” It was SUPER easy to follow and our sourdough starter is cute as a button and rising every day.
Initially I thought I could just make a sourdough starter and leave it to use whenever I wanted to, but turns out you actually have to feed your starter new flour and water every day. It’s fun though, it’s just like having a baby (okay so maybe taking 5 minutes out of the day to add more flour isn’t close to having a baby, but I’m going to keep pretending because I enjoy it).
Anyways, let me get into the reasons why I chose sourdough bread, AKA the health benefits.
So Bailey, tell me why I should eat sourdough bread. Isn’t it just like any other bread?
Sourdough bread is super cool because unlike other breads which are made with sugars, oils, preservatives, and baker’s (dead) yeast, sourdough bread is made with live yeast which causes the bread to rise due to the production of gas as the grains ferment. The live yeast also gives it the distinct flavor (usually) without any oils or sugars andddd helps it stay fresher longer without the use of preservatives! Can you say superbread or what?! Sour P. is basically a miracle worker.
Oh, and not to mention sourdough bread is mouth-wateringly yummy. Seriously, who doesn’t love a good fresh slice of warm sourdough? I’ll tell ya who. NOBODY EVER.
Another thing that makes sourdough bread stand above the rest is its ability to allow your body to absorb more minerals from the bread. Most breads (unless they’re completely and totally bleached out and processed) contain loads of vitamins and minerals. However, due to the presence of phytic acid (which binds to nutrients in bread rendering them unavailable for the body to then absorb them) in non-sourdough loaves, your body isn’t actually able to absorb most of those nutrients and therefore it doesn’t reap the benefits of the bread. Sourdough, on the other hand, contains lactic acid bacteria which is produced during the fermentation process and helps destroy the phytic acid in the bread. This means your body absorbs more minerals from the sourdough bread, thus making it more nutritious than the other breads.
Sourdough Bread: 2
Other Breads: 0
And although there are plenty of other benefits which make sourdough bread desirable to me, the final reason I chose to succumb to its magical powers is due to its ease of digestability and gut health benefits.
As someone who suffers from gut issues, I can tell you first hand that bloating, stomach cramps, bathroom ISSUES (aka the diarrhea), among other things are not fun and are definitely enough to keep me away from certain foods (most of the time). BUT the fact that sourdough bread could not hurt my stomach and even potentially benefit it?? Yeah, I’m game for that.
So during the fermentation process of the sourdough starter, prebiotics and probiotics are produced which makes the bread more easily digested by the body. For those of you who are unaware of what the precious and oh so wonderful prebiotics and probiotics are, prebiotics are fibers which can’t be digested by the body that go on to feed all the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, are the actual good bacteria found in certain foods (like fermented foods like sourdough bread) and supplements. Prebiotics are necessary to feed the probiotics which help to maintain a healthy gut environment.
The fermentation process of sourdough bread yet again works its magical gut-benefiting powers by exponentially decreasing the gluten content of bread (say whaaaaaa?!). It basically is gluten free, however there’s no actual way to determine the variable amount of potential gluten in each loaf (since they’re all slightly different) so it isn’t certified gluten free, just know that there’s basically no gluten in there. And for those of you who have heard of gluten but don’t actually really know what it is, gluten is a sneaky little protein found in some grains which can cause digestive issues if you are sensitive or allergic to it (which many people are, even if they may not know it) so the fact that there is little to no gluten makes me all for the sourdough.
SO, bottom line is although I generally try to avoid processed grains, I’m giving homemade sourdough bread a go because I can actually control what’s going in it and all the things I listed above.
I’ve attempted my first loaf, even though much of my bread proofing material has yet to arrive in the mail and although it was tasty, it was by far not even close to perfection. So I’ll keep you guys posted as to my bread making progress and how my body is feeling once I introduce more of it into my diet after not having had bread for a while. Wish me luck and feel free to join me on my journey to sourdough-dom! We can all share stories about our little baby sourdough children as they grow and flourish into beautiful sourdough adult loaves.