Sourdough bread baking is an ancient tradition. To sum it up, I will give you the short version first and then I will explain more in detail. It starts with a starter culture made up of wild-caught yeasts and beneficial bacteria. These yeasts and bacteria break down the gluten and decrease the phytic acid present in the flour, turn the carbs into a more digestible simple sugar (which in the sum of it all translates to less stored body fat), fills the bread with beneficial yeasts and bacteria (probiotics) to create a natural rise effect. As the bread bakes the remaining lactic and acetic acid remains intact to benefit our bodies as we eat it. The remaining insoluble fibers in the bread act as a prebiotic for the good guys in our gut. No packaged yeasts or preservatives or anything else is added. Just simple ingredients.
First I will start by saying this is by no means a way to treat or diagnose any health issue. I’m simply sharing my story and my research. It is up to you to speak to your nutritionist or health care provider (preferably a Naturopathy) to find out if sourdough bread is right for you.
Several studies have found true sourdough to be not only well tolerated by individuals sensitive to gluten, Celiac Disease, and even diabetes but may actually help to speed up HEALING of the gut (not to mention the long list of personal stories I’ve heard from people that had suffered with these issues over the years but have been about to enjoy eating my breads)! Sourdough bread contains enzymes and beneficial bacteria ( lactobacillus for one), prebiotics, and beneficial acids like acetic and lactic acid (that are not lost during the baking process) that team up to create a bread that not only makes your mouth do the happy dance but your gut as well. I will actually provide my own personal story down below....keep reading. ;)
So, what is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by consuming the gluten (which is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye etc). If a person with Celiac ingests this protein, the immune system mistakenly goes into attack mode causing inflammation and a cascade of other health issues.
So let's talk a little more about sourdough bread and the process it takes to make it. A starter culture is created (or in many cases, handed down from generation to generation....there are some cultures out there that are over 200 years old!). This starter culture is alive and living....full of wild-caught yeasts and beneficial bacteria. This culture is added to the dough and left to do its thing. The culture eats away at the gluten and sugars in the dough and fills the dough with lactobacillus, a beneficial bacteria, and other enzymes that help the dough rise. The process leaves behind acetic and lactic acid in the bread which is beneficial to everyone but particularly those who suffer from blood sugar issues due to diabetes. According to Cultured Food Life, “ This fermentation, partly from lactobacillus, also allows for a bread that is lower on the glycemic index, thus making it better for those with blood sugar issues. The fermentation also helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination”. This takes a minimum of 7 to 8 hours for the gluten to be broken down. As mentioned above, these acids remain intact during the baking process. The remaining acids in the loaf help keep the bread shelf stable without the need to add preservatives. You will not find dough conditioners, packaged yeasts, preservatives, or added fillers or junk in real homemade sourdough bread (be careful of store-bought as some store-bought are not the real deal....they are not a true sourdough bread).
Here is my own personal story. I suffered a lot of my childhood life with inflammation. It caused a myriad of health challenges for me, to include digestive issues. I was never able to pinpoint the issue. I was, at the time, eating sprouted grain bread from time to time thinking, well it’s much healthier as it is sprouted grain, yet I was still having so many digestive issues. I was told to take more fiber. Then I was told I was taking to much fiber. My diet was rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, soaked nuts, and once in awhile sprouted beans, etc. so why was I having this issue!? It was so frustrating. I remember many nights calling my best friend crying, saying how I’m so sick of being sick. Then I started taking away all gluten (and glyphosate) from my diet. It took about a month or two to notice a difference but slowly but surely I noticed a very slight difference. Then I gave myself a treat....I had a piece of sprouted grain toast. It was that one piece of toast that threw my body into havoc. I then realized I had a serious issue. I was reading an Ayurvedic article once and it talked about the diet types and one of the things it mentioned was about sourdough bread. I started to research this. I learned more about sourdough bread and decided to try it. I will tell you, I am not exaggerating when I say, I devoured the bread. It was delicious, with a slightly tangy sourness that tasted amazing with a little butter spread on it. I also noticed, while eating the sourdough bread I felt things moving around in there. After a week, I started to notice my digestion actually improved. After a month of eating sourdough bread, drinking kombucha and Tibicos, (more probiotics for my gut) my digestion was on point! I felt so much lighter, and not so dragged down and tired all the time. The organic sourdough bread (along with the probiotic beverages) actually HELPED me to heal!
If you take a look at some of the references provided below, you’ll notice one from the celiac site directly. Take a look at the comments in that article. Celiac patients give their own stories of how they are able to tolerate and have actually healed from sourdough bread. Again, none of this is intended as medical advice. This is just a great start for you to do your own research to see if sourdough bread is right for you.
Here at Kindred Acres we ferment our sourdough bread a minimum of 8 hours (usually much longer), with our longer ferments being as long as two to three days (those have a really nice sour bite to them) to ensure the bread is tolerated well and filled with the beneficial microbes. We use non bromated non bleached organic flour (no glyphosate here!) and pink Himalayan sea salt or Mediterranean Sea Salt (both are a full spectrum salt) . That being said....Crumbs Up! Enjoy some delicious sourdough bread! And don't forget to stop by our Etsy shop to grab you some of our very aged and active starter!! ;) Link is below.
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