Slow Fermented Sourdough Bread

There is controversy around bread and the question is…is it paleo? In my opinion, the word ‘bread’ needs to be defined. Slow fermented sourdough bread or quick rising yeast bread? Just like, in my opinion, the difference between factory farmed meat and grass-fed. Here is an article that describes what real bread is and how is is biochemically totally different than the bread most of us are familiar with.

I grew up with my mother’s slow rise sourdough bread she made from her own fresh ground wheat and rye flour. My mom grew up barefoot on a farm in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl era and learned to do this from her parents. She even sifted her own wheat, outside, using a basket to get the straw and chaff out. Since my mom lived to be 90 with not a grey or white hair on her head, active the whole time, I think the bread was a good part of her overall good diet. She also ate traditional farm foods her family raised like beef, pork, eggs, and raw milk.

Here is an excerpt from a great article on Slow Fermented bread

Given that long, slow fermented bread has this potential for human health, especially for diabetics, it seems to me unbelievable that there is no regulation specific to sourdough that stipulates the process of its fermentation. If consumers can’t determine how long a loaf has been fermented, how can they make an informed choice? More importantly how can they identify a bread that can help regulate blood sugar?

Chris Young of The Real Bread Campaign believes that genuine sourdough is made using a dough or batter of water and cereal flour containing a culture of naturally occurring yeasts and lactic acid bacteria. Importantly it is not made using commercial yeast, dried sourdough powder, artificial additives or other acidifiers, such as yoghurt or industrial acetic acid, that merely give a sour flavour without the benefits. There is currently no legal definition of what long, slow fermented bread is in Britain. Does long and slow mean an hour or three or eighteen? The process of making sourdough is an artisanal one because the length of the fermentation process is determined by many factors, including the kind of flour you use, the ambient temperature, the water temperature and the amount of starter used. As a baker I can tell if a sourdough has fermented long enough by the look and touch and feel. Finding an exact definition for long slow fermentation may well be the key to change.

What I do know is that after decades of bland, virtually indistinguishable white sliced factory loaves, there has been a huge resurgence of interest in artisan breads. Britain’s taste buds are being reawakened by a cornucopia of flavours and textures in real bread, crafted by small, local bakeries. In their quest to offer customers a broader choice, their baking has escaped the limitations of typical baker’s yeast and roller-milled, white wheat flour. Customers can now enjoy the added depth and complexity of flavour in the wide array of breads that are now being baked, and perhaps a range of other benefits that only genuine sourdough, slowly leavened with a live culture, can create.


For the full post including directions for how to make your own, click here.

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