Why fermented breads?

The majority of the bread we bake is fermented.  Our sourdough starter is over 8 years old and was given to us by our friends at Tinder Hearth Bakery.  We use this culture for The Line Road Sourdough, in our scones, in our rye breads and many other products.  By fermenting the dough we don’t need commercial yeast.  There are many, many other advantages- like your health!

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As many might know, there’s been an attack on gluten and as a result, on bread.  Fortunately, not all breads are created equally.  Ours not only uses locally grown and milled grains, it also takes about 18 hours start to finish.   I recently read an interesting article on Sourdough Bread and Health where they point the healthful advantages to eating fermented bread over yeasted bread.

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If you don’t want to read the whole article, here are some awesome facts they give about the health advantages to eating fermented breads:

  • Poorly-prepared and poorly-digested wheat is the chief contributor to the current plague of “gluten-intolerance,” obesity, diabetes, Candida diseases and many allergenic conditions all of which contribute to the conditions that cause cancer.
  • Your body is able to absorb the good minerals.  During the proofing time for fermented dough, bran (in the flour) is broken down, releasing nutrients.  The author states that phytic acid needs to be 90% neutralized in order for your body to absorb the minerals; yeasted breads still contain about 90% while sourdough contains about none.
  • Carbohydrates are lowered in fermented breads!  During the fermentation process carbohydrates are transformed into lactic acid, lowering the the carbohydrate level in the bread.  This means sourdough can help keep blood glucose levels in line.
  • Fermented bread also aids in beneficial bacteria to your digestive tract because of the introduction of lactobacillus.   Studies demonstrate populations with the highest fiber intake have the lowest incidence of colon cancer.
  • Correctly fermented wheat contains 18 amino acids (proteins), complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium and maltese.

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Aside from the health advantages to sourdoughs, they LAST!  Well, not in our house but that’s because the loaf is gone in a night.  The hydration in the bread is high which helps create that amazing crust.  The crust is the packaging and to wrap a loaf in suffocating plastic would not do any favors (hence why we use perforated or paper bags).   The loaf of bread is great for slicing the first 3 days, after that it’s perfect for toasting (can you say bruschetta time??) and if you STILL have some left for some crazy reason, it’s croutons and bread pudding time.

So, now you’re informed. Go, eat real bread!

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