What Makes Sourdough Bread Different From Regular Bread?

What Makes Sourdough Bread Different From Regular Bread?

It seems that during lockdown, more people got into baking than ever before. One of the favourite bakes to occupy our time was the sourdough loaf. So what exactly is sourdough bread and why are increasing numbers of people choosing it as an alternative to regular bread?

The basic ingredients of sourdough are the same as for any other bread: simply flour, water, and salt. The difference lies in the way the bread is ‘leavened’; the method by which it rises in the oven. The leavening agent produces gas as the grain ferments, which allows the dough to rise into a loaf in the oven.

Regular breads use commercially produced yeasts as leavening agents. However, sourdough makes use of ‘wild yeast’ and lactic acid bacteria which are naturally present in the flour, Healthline explains. This particular mixture of wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria and flour and water is referred to as a starter, and ferments the sugars in the dough.

Producing an effective sourdough starter from scratch is a highly skilled art, because a successful outcome depends on many variables, such as temperature and the materials used.  Most amateur bakers will obtain an established culture that already contains active yeasts from a more experienced baker.

One of the main reasons sourdough bread has surged in popularity recently is the perceived health benefits. Some people find that regular bread is difficult for them to digest, which is thought to be caused by the presence of phytic acid, which inhibits the digestive enzymes.

Sourdough bread neutralises the effect of phytic acid during the fermenting process, making it more agreeable to some people. It is also thought to be a prebiotic, meaning that it can be beneficial to the gut microbiome. However, people with gluten intolerances or coeliac disease are still advised to avoid sourdough and eat gluten-free baked goods.

 

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By | 2021-10-08T13:03:04+00:00 October 8th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on What Makes Sourdough Bread Different From Regular Bread?

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