History often repeats itself, and in the case of sourdough bread, that’s exactly what you want to it to do. Sourdough bread has been around for thousands of years. According to numerous historical references, the oldest sourdough bread loaf was found in Switzerland dating from 3500 BC.

“The science of sourdough, or naturally leavened bread, is alchemy in action. The starter is where the magic begins. It’s truly digestive greatness! Believe us, your gut will thank you! Sourdough is more easily digested than regular bread, both white and whole grain. It’s also far more nutritious,” enlightens Cait Patrick, Owner with Lise Garden of Homestead Artisan Bakery & Café in Barrie.

Sourdough bread definitely defies the negative status of eating too much bread loaded with preservatives, white flour, and sugar. The fermentation process to make sourdough bread helps break down some of the gluten, which allows it to be more easily digested and less likely to cause food intolerances.

“Lactic acid makes vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body and helps to neutralize the phytates in flour that interfere with absorption. Yes, we know it sounds technical. These acids slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the breads’ glycemic index (GI), which means it doesn’t cause insulin spikes. This is also very important for people who are diabetic,” explains Patrick. 

Once you acquire a taste for sourdough bread, it really can be a delicious addition to your everyday meals, or snacking. It’s a better bread and toasts really well.

“The local flours we use in our sourdough bread baking process include rye, spelt, whole wheat, unbleached organic all-purpose flour, buckwheat, semolina, and red fife,” says Patrick.

The use of various grains can make sourdough bread interesting, but to begin making sourdough bread you require a starter. It’s a fermented dough filled with natural occurring wild yeast and bacteria called lactobacilli. Sourdough bread yeast is different than baker’s yeast because lactobacilli produces lactic acid. “It’s an artisanal form of bread making,” says Patrick.

Some store-bought sourdough bread isn’t authentic or traditionally made like it is in local artisan bakeries such as Homestead. Many commercial sourdough breads just have a sour flavouring and are made with regular yeast. The health benefits of sourdough bread significantly decrease when it isn’t made authentically.

Other fermented foods that contain the same type of lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread are yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and kefir.

Humans have relied on the easy digestibility of sourdough bread for many years. If sourdough bread is kind to your gut, and you can miraculously enjoy eating bread again, make sure it’s true sourdough bread that’s been leavened naturally and had time to ferment before its baked.

“We invite you to talk with us for more details. If you have further questions, consult with your dietician,” encourages Patrick.

Homestead Artisan Bakery + Café

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