My many 'pre-Things' were a source of terrible anguish (dramatic I know, but stick with me). With each disastrous failure, I swore never to attempt it again until my bloody-minded stubbornness saw me concocting a new brew only to fail again. Finally though....success! She lived, and continued to live and over the ensuing months she grew in both flavour and potency until we reached a happy, mutually beneficial relationship - I feed her, she feeds me.
I wish I had known about the many inspirational artisan bread baking courses at Craft Courses. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
- Sourdough bread is often easier to digest than bread that’s been fermented with brewer’s yeast.
- The lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast present during sourdough fermentation help neutralise the 'antinutrients' naturally found in grains, which helps your body digest foods made from these grains more easily.
- Sourdough fermentation may also produce prebiotics, a type of indigestible fibre that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, in turn easing digestion and improving your gut health.
- The sourdough fermentation process also helps break down large compounds found in grains, such as gluten proteins, ultimately making them easier for your body to digest.
- Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains. It can cause digestive issues in people who are sensitive or allergic to it.
- Gluten tolerance varies from person to person. Some people have no noticeable issues digesting gluten, whereas in others it can cause stomach pain, bloating, diarrhoea, or constipation.
- Sourdough bread's lower gluten content may make it easier to tolerate for people who are sensitive to gluten.
- This makes gluten-free sourdough bread an interesting option for people with gluten-related disorders.
- However, keep in mind that sourdough fermentation does not degrade gluten completely. People with coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity should avoid sourdough bread containing wheat, barley, or rye.
Studies have shown that fermented foods may also promote mental health: the probiotioc strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been linked to a reduction in the symptoms of anxiety and depression with both strains found in fermented foods.
While more research is needed, some studies have found links between certain probiotic strains (including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri) and weight loss/loss of belly fat. As many of us are painfully aware, too much weight around the middle is a risk factor for lifestyle-related morbidities such as diabetes and heart disease.
“Can I bring you some of my sourdough starter. Would you like that?" Hattie raised an eyebrow at me. "I don't know," I said. "It is quite a commitment. I had some before and I didn't look after it. It died and I felt terrible".”
Sally Andrew, The Milk Tart Murders
Let's face it, a serious sourdough habit is a commitment but once you've stumbled across that perfect formula, tried a thousand recipes and discovered your perfect loaf, you won't look back. You'll be hooked and in a good way!
"At the end of the course my enthusiasm for sourdough baking was increased and I have continued to bake ever since and feel I am at the start of a journey that will continue." Jane
"If like me you really love the idea of making your own bread, with more natural ingredients - but the results so far a a bit all over the shop. If you bought a book and still... meh... Then this is the answer." Dianne
"I came away with all this wonderful bread, my sourdough starter (which I have named Doris) and my homework which I will endeavour to make into an acceptable loaf. I have wanted to learn how to bake sourdough for a while and am so pleased that I was able to start my journey." Yvonne
For more reading, why not check out some advice from the experts.