I am often asked if sourdough bread is good for you, especially when compared with bread made with fast-action/commercial yeast.
If you are eating real sourdough bread, then yes: I think it is fair to say that sourdough bread is good for you, because of the long, slow fermentation and the resulting transformation of the flour, on many levels, by the lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast.
Yeasted bread ferments far more quickly and therefore doesn’t possess the same benefits as sourdough. The long, slow fermentation makes a loaf of sourdough bread more nutritious, as the body can access and use more of the fibre, vitamins and minerals contained within the loaf. This fermentation time also reduces the gluten load, so that the sourdough bread is more easily digested, and it increases resistant starch, which can control blood sugar.
If you make your own sourdough bread or buy it from a reputable sourdough bakery, there will be no preservatives or emulsifiers in the loaf, and you can ensure that it contains better ingredients – preferably organic, local and more sustainable. It is important to make sure that what you are buying is real sourdough, as opposed to a quickly fermented loaf with added flavourings. How good a loaf of sourdough bread is for you, then depends on several factors, including whether it is made with white flour or wholegrain flour, and what you eat with your bread. The diversity within your baking ingredients will also affect how nutritious your bread is. It is important to note that everyone’s bodies are different, so some types of bread will suit some people more than others – this is why we recommend furthering your learning with us if you think that you need help with finding bread recipes that will be beneficial for you.
Additionally, the activity of making sourdough is relaxing and mindful, which can lead to better mental and physical wellbeing. We include this as part of our seven core principles at The Sourdough Club and The Sourdough School, which work together to nourish your gut, body and mind. Our seven core principles are:
- increase fibre
- increase diversity
- increase levels of antioxidants
- increase probiotics in your bakes
- reduce refined sugar
- make lifestyle changes that support the body as a whole
Our goal here at the School and the Club is to develop and bake the healthiest sourdough bread we possibly can. We hope you enjoy joining us on this journey.