What is “sourdough?”
“Sourdough” is a wild leavening agent made when flour and water are mixed together, where the naturally-occurring lactobacilli and yeast cultures begin to ferment the dough. Sourdough bakers keep a sourdough “starter” on hand, which is a sourdough mixture that is fed regularly for continual fermentation. When the starter is sufficiently active, a portion of this starter is mixed with fresh flour and water to “start” the bread-making process.
Our sourdough starter is named David Doughy. He’s marvelous.
What’s so great about all-natural leavening/sourdough?
Besides the mind-blowing bread magic of its simple formula, sourdough bread has a long list of health and culinary benefits.
Digestibility – Sourdough’s slow fermentation process has proven effects on improving a loaf’s digestibility for most people – including gluten-sensitive populations. In fact, many gluten-sensitive folks are happy to discover that eating slowly and naturally-leavened bread causes none of the usual discomfort that comes from eating commercial-yeast-risen bread. (Please note that this does not mean that our bread is gluten-free, but is rather a more healthful way to consume wheat bread)
Nutrient-dense – Lactobacilli and yeast also help break down phytates, which usually inhibit nutrient absorption. Lower phytate levels means more bio-availability of the nutrients in the grains, which means you get more nutritious bang for your bread-chomping buck.
Low Glycemic Index – Researchers believe sourdough bread may also help control blood sugar spikes by altering the structure of the carbohydrates and the way they are digested.
Flavor– Sourdough adds a complex, unique flavor to bread. Some describe it as tangy or “sour” (hence the name), but don’t let that fool you – it’s totally yummy.
Longer Shelf-Life – Slow fermentation produces bread with naturally-occurring anti-fungal properties. This means you can keep eating tasty sourdough bread from its spot on the counter for a week or more – assuming you don’t eat it all, first.
What are “Cultured” Baked Goods?
Remember all that stuff that we just talked about in the above section?
By culturing our muffins, rolls, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods with our sourdough starter, it turns out that the same great benefits can be true for non-bread products, as well!
Is sourdough gluten-free?
While sourdough bread can be suitable for some people with gluten-sensitivity, sourdough is not gluten-free. Those who are highly intolerant to gluten and/or have been diagnosed with celiac disease are not recommended to consume sourdough bread.