What happens when you eat Sourdough?
About 25 years ago, as a young baker, I was poorly and within weeks I couldn’t eat anything with wheat in. I was newly qualified and just at the point my career was about to take off, and instead, I had to stop doing what I loved most – baking. It was pre the gluten-free fad, and the only bread or flour available made dreadful baking. I gave up, the job I loved.
When I discovered, a few years later that I could eat sourdough it was the start of an obsession. Why was it that I could digest sourdough and not other bread? I set to on a lifetime of studying sourdough and researching why it is more easily digestible. Knowing how the microbes in sourdough transform sourdough is just one part of the picture. The other half was to understand the digestive system, and in doing so I came across the gut microbiome and was talking about it a decade before anyone had even heard of it.
So whilst most bakers were keen to perfect their open crumb structure or shaping I was getting strange looks in my classes, and one student called me ” beautifully excentric,” but this didn’t put me off reading every study I could find ( there were not so many in the early days. ) I spoke to doctors and nutritionists and wheat breeders looking at the nutritional value of grains and flour, all to gather the knowledge about the impact of the gut microbiome of our immune system, and our physical and mental health.
Along the way, I realised that understanding why sourdough is more nutritious actually starts with understanding what happens when you eat sourdough.