Sourdough bread undergoes a slow fermentation process before it is baked. Many beneficial changes occurr as the dough ferments.
The gluten gets broken down, which means that sourdough bread may be enjoyed by many people, even those who are sensative to gluten might want to give it a try.
*Be aware that some commercial sourdough bakeries will sprinkle unfermented flour on their loaves of bread. The gluten found in this sprinkled flour may still affect someone who is very sensative to gluten.
Some other nutritional benefits of a sourdough fermentation are:
The minerals and other nutrients that are found in the flour become available to the human body, where as they were not easily absorbed by our bodies before the dough was fermented.
The dough becomes more vitamin rich as it ferments beause some of the lactic acid bacteria, found in the sourdough starter, actually make B vitamins!
To learn more about the nutritional benefits of baking with sourdough, check out this interview with Nutritionist and Medical Herbalist, Nadine Ijaz, MSc, RH(AHG), found in the 'videos' section.
When compared to conventional, yeasted bread, sourdough is definitely the more nourishing choice. Baking sourdough bread, and other sourdough treats, is fun, simple and you don't need to buy yeast from the store to make your dough rise. Your sourdough starter will create and house all the yeast and lactic acid bacteria that you need to make wonderful, healthy, and delicious bread. All you have to do, is bake with your sourdough starter, or feed it flour and water to keep it alive. In turn, your starter will help you and your family thrive. You see, humans and sourdough starters have a symbiotic relationship.
If you have a sourdough starter that you would like to share with others in your community, please join our online Sourdough Share by posting your starter. If you are looking to get started baking sourdough bread, check out our online Sourdough Share. You may be able to find someone near you who has a starter available for sharing. There are also people on the Sourdough Share who are open to mailing their starters to you. (check out the "avaialble by mail" section when you visit the Sourdough Share)
You may also start your own sourdough starter, by simply mixing flour with water and leaving it out at room temperature for a few days. A new sourdough starter may need more time and effort to thrive than an already established one, but you never know if you don't try. There are some different methods to try if you are making a new starter from scratch that you can find online or in books.
Other names for sourdough starter are levain, mother dough, chef, chief & head.