The bread we have gotten used to consuming is far from what bread has looked like in the past. For many years, bread was made with only three ingredients: flour, water, and salt. As for the ingredients in today’s conventionally produced bread? We’ll give you a hint: they look much different than that short list! While wheat bread ingredients look better than white bread, neither of these breads resemble a traditional bread in quality or nutrient density. One traditional bread to consider using in place of conventionally produced bread is real sourdough bread (sprouted bread is a good option too!).
What is Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough bread is made via the process of fermentation. A real sourdough bread is made with a fermented sourdough starter instead of yeast. Because of the fermentation process, real sourdough bread is known to be easier to digest and more nutritious than regular wheat breads.
Note: We specify “real” sourdough bread because conventionally produced sourdough breads do not go through this fermentation process and have many other added ingredients. When searching for a real sourdough bread, the ingredients should only consist of wheat flour, sourdough cultures, and salt.
The Importance of Fermentation
Due to the fermentation process, a more acidic environment is created and, because of this, enzymes are produced. These enzymes help to break down proteins, including gluten; this leads to an overall lower gluten content in the bread. In addition, the production of phytase (an enzyme), breaks down phytic acid. Phytic acid is considered to be an “antinutrient” because it binds to vitamins and minerals and makes them more difficult for the body to use. With decreased levels of phytic acid and other antinutrients, the nutrients in sourdough bread are more easily digested and absorbed by the body.
Where to Buy Real Sourdough
In the Milwaukee area, we have found loaves of real sourdough bread at health food stores such as Health Hut and Outpost. In addition, farmers markets are usually a good spot to find a good sourdough loaf!
Pictured above: toasted sourdough topped with almond butter, berries, and hemp hearts