Sourdough can be healthy, but there are different factors to take into account when assessing how healthy it is. First of all, you need to establish whether your loaf is real sourdough. Next, you need to consider what kind of flour and other ingredients are in your loaf, as this is also hugely important when working out whether your sourdough is healthy. Is it a sourdough loaf made with 100% refined white flour, or with wholemeal flour and a diverse range of additional ingredients?
Building up the level of wholegrain in your loaves is a great way to make your bread healthier, as it will contain more fibre. However, it is worth slowly increasing the wholegrain level if you are new to baking and also if you have a sensitive gut. The 20% wholemeal loaf is not the healthiest loaf to make, because it is low in fibre. Fibre in cancer preventative in bread, and this kind of loaf is a good start for beginners. Once you are more familiar with the sourdough process and have advanced your practice, you could try making the Muesli Sourdough Boule, which is packed full of fibre and diversity, with up to 37 different ingredients per bite! You can learn how to make sourdough in this way by working through the lessons on The Sourdough Club.
It is also important to take into account how you eat your sourdough, not just how the bread is made. At the School, we love to eat it with olive oil, which contains antioxidants that could contribute to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Adding oily fish like sardines also increases the health benefits. We also eat our sourdough with probiotics and prebiotics to create symbiotic meals to feed the gut. This could include spreading your bread with cultured butter or eating it with cheese and fermented vegetables like kimchi. We have a section of The Sourdough Club website dedicated to these symbiotic recipes.