Sourdough Vs. Commercial Bread: Who wins?
Have you ever wondered how long it took to make the bread you are consuming?
Well, as much as this question may sound pointless while the bread is in your hands, its answer tells you all about how healthy it is.
Bread: How it’s made?
Bread is mainly made of flour, water and salt. To ferment bread and have a tasty airy textured loaf, the healthy bacteria are needed. This bacteria is naturally present in organic untreated flour and is required to make up the sourdough starter. It is exactly the same process as in yogurt making whereby a bacterial starter is needed.
Health benefits of sourdough bread
Making sourdough bread requires long fermentation time, up to a minimum of 18 hours. During this process, the flour composition is altered in a way that makes it richer in vitamins and readily digestible for the human body. This happens because the good bacteria predigest the flour . This allows the release of micronutrients and decreases its GI impact on consumer’s blood sugar.
It’s benefits include:
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels because the long fermentation process breaks down carbohydrates.
- It’s easier for people (including those with celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome) to digest. This is because the wild yeasts and good bacteria predigest the starch.
- Has a long shelf life without any additives because it contains naturally occurring acetic acid (vinegar), which prevents mold and fungal growth!
Commercial yeast in bread manufacturing: Is it the best choice?
Whereas commercial bread mainly relies on yeast to ferment. Yeast is used for its convenience and speed, which grants the bakers higher yield and higher profitability. In other words, bread made up using commercial yeast takes roughly 1 hour to ferment. This limited time of fermentation is not enough to predigest the flour. Thus the final product impacts the human body negatively through these ways:
- Increases blood sugar
- Poor in nutrients & vitamins
- Poor digestibility
- Loaded with additives
- Loaded with preservatives
As a result and for all of the above reasons, knowing the history of the bread we consume is a crucial thing. After all, you are what you eat.