Bread has been a staple food since time immemorial. It is one of the most locally available foods among communities around the world. There are many types of bread, but in this article we shall focus more on sourdough bread. Have you been wondering: is sourdough bread healthy? Does it have any nutritional benefits to your body? Let me answer all these questions and more about sourdough bread.
What Is Sourdough Bread?
This bread is prepared by fermenting dough. The process is achieved using naturally occurring bacteria known as lactobacillus and yeast. The purpose of fermentation is to enhance rising and improve the flavor of the dough. The ingredients used to make this bread are similar to other bread requirements. However, the major difference lies with its preparation procedure.
Sourdough Bread Benefits
This bread may be one of your excellent healthy choices in your diet. Among many other advantages, I summarized these for you.
- You enjoy better digestion due to the lactobacillus and yeast present in this bread. These organisms help to break down complex sugars into simple ones which lessen the digestion process. They also aid in easier and fast absorption of the resulting nutrients.
- You may have eaten whole grain products and didn’t like the taste but, the sourdough improves the overall flavor and texture of fiber-packed products making them more palatable.
- Do not worry about weight gain. Sourdough bread contains minimal amounts of sugars. The lactic acid bacteria in the dough produce organic acids which alter the availability of starch in your final product.
- Due to the lengthy preparation process, the protein gluten in the dough is broken down into amino acids which allow easier absorption and digestion.
- The method of making this bread produces acetic acid. This acid prevents the growth of molds on the bread making it stay longer without the need to use chemical preservatives.
Sourdough Bread Nutrition
It is important to understand the nutrition benefits a food item has to your body. Sourdough bread has plenty of vitamins from B1 to B6. This product comes with essential folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. It has minimal quantities of magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, and potassium.
This bread also provides gluten protein and fatty acids that our bodies require to function normally. Lactic acid commonly found in the sourdough bread provides plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to remove potentially harmful oxidizing agents in our bodies.
This sourdough product is an excellent source of energy. Carbohydrates are essential for the sound functioning of body cells. Our body systems require power to perform all their different functions. Having this bread for breakfast will indeed kick start your day full of energy.
Lactobacillus available in sourdough bread presents a higher quantity than yeast which leads to more production of lactic acid. Availability of lactic acid regulates the production of phytic acid. More lactic acid allows availability of essential minerals like potassium and zinc. This process also allows easier digestion and absorption. So, is sourdough bread bad for you? The answer is no.
How to Prepare Sourdough Bread
First of all, mix the right quantities of flour and water to make a batter with a smooth consistency. Then leave this mixture overnight for the naturally occurring organisms to do their work. From the second day you may need to ‘feed’ the mixture by pouring out the top liquid and adding fresh batter. Your batter is ready to use once you acquire a bubbly mixture after ‘feeding.’ The mixture should smell fresh but yeasty.
Once you have your starter ready, the next step is to prepare the ‘leaven.’ It is a mixture made from a tablespoon of your starter, flour, and water. These should be left overnight to set before combining it with your dough.
If in a hurry, you should leave the ‘leaven’ for approximately one to four hours minimum. This period allows maximum hydration of flour and activation of enzymes. It also allows gluten formation and sugar breakdown. At this stage, the flavor of the dough becomes highly enhanced.
Fold Your Dough
Finally, fold in the mixture giving an allowance of about 30 minutes between each fold. Check out the detailed video on how to achieve this below. At this point, you’ll acquire a smooth texture and incorporate air into the dough. Cover your bowl with a damp cloth as the dough sits.
Divide your dough into your preferred shapes place on a rack ready for baking.
Ensure you have the right measurements for all the ingredients. A little alteration will result in a poor product. A measuring tool such as a kitchen scale or measuring cups come in handy to achieve accuracy.
The Bottom Line
Is sourdough bread healthy for you? From the above discussion, sourdough bread could be the missing link in your diet- a wholesome product packed with essential nutrients and benefits to our bodies. It’s a great supplement for white processed bread and it gives you that sweet and tangy flavor. So go ahead and indulge.