Why Commercial Bread Hurts
Sourdough has been rising and falling in popularity and since lockdown has become the"it" bread to eat. Besides its health benefits we believe that we're supporting a dying art and a small artisan behind that trade. Unfortunately that's not always the case, the popularity of sourdough in supermarkets has led to commercial bakeries making "sourdough" and selling it as the healthiest option. Sadly when sourdough is made on such great scales with giant machine mixers, it no longer has all the health benefits we believe it does.
There's a bit of science here so I'll keep it simple. The research done with IBS has shown that phytic acid (which is found in the bran part of wheat causes us to bloat and digestive discomfort (ie gassy AF) this phytic acid does this because it inhibits enzymes that are needed to breakdown the proteins and starches we put in our stomachs. When we don’t have enough of these enzymes we struggle. Bread that is made commercially strips so much of these enzymes away through bleaching, heating during milling and wheat grain washing.
This is where Sourdough can save the day. The wild yeast found in sourdough alongside the lactobacillus (healthy bacteria) helps to neutralize the phytic acid. When the sourdough is fermenting and rising it acidifies the dough causing this super calming affect on the phytic acid which is helpful when the all those acids get to the stomach because it is now partially neutralized (or how I like to think of it- partially digested). This pre digestion bit is also super important because it means that the flour in the bread releases all the micronutrients that we normally can’t absorb, these are now readily available for our gut to take in. Commercially made bread has sugar, flour improvers, loads of yeast, the flour is bleached so has low nutritional content to begin with. I think what’s really scary about our commercially made bread is that our gut is absorbing all the rubbish in bread before it gets to all the goodness.
Small artisan bakers use excellent flour, salt and water. That's it! That is everything that goes into your bread. The point I’m trying to make (sorry for the preamble) is that making bread is wonderful and when you do it with fantastic ingredients you know that you are turning out a fantastic product. The simpler, the better. Our Sourdough culture is about 4 years old, Old “Leonardough” has been a fantastic companion through the Great Yeast shortage of fall 2021 and generally the most reliable relationship I’ve had in the last 10 years :) (I digress). Our sourdough ferments for 2 days, which is a long cold ferment, we knead and turn by hand, in small batches. We've been told it is gluten free from our longstanding customers and easy on your gut.
Support small, local bakeries. Ask questions, bakers love talking about what they do. Your heart and your health with thank you.
If you want to read more about the science of sourdough , Vanessa Kimbel is fantastic to follow and a leader in the industry in the UK https://www.sourdough.co.uk/about-vanessa-kimbell/
If you would like to try our sourdough, order online https://www.oreganobakery.com/product-page/sourdough-bread