As we fast forward in history to modern times, traditional bread goes through a makeover. Yeast is introduced as the new agent to make bread rise. Why?
- Fermentation is more regular
- More rapid
- Bread rises better
But whats the flip side?
- The fermentation becomes mainly an alcoholic fermentation The bread is less digestible
- Less tasty
- Spoils more easily
The majority of breads we get in stores and sandwich shops are of this kind. As usual speed is valued more then quality which carries a host of problems.
Most grains have in them a substance called phytic acid which is not digestible to humans or non-ruminant animals.
Moreover, by consuming phytic acid it is harder for the body to absorb zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Grains are also considered to be an acid food which makes the body work harder to achieve a state of homeostasis or balance. This is why soaking rains before you cook them or consuming sourdough-leavened bread is ideal.
Sourdough culture is super acidic to begin with but when combined with grains it actually neutralizes their enzyme inhibiting and phyitic acid qualities. This results in more alkalinity, easier digestion, more nutrients and a real hearty bread that promotes warmth and joy without the guilt.
Sourdough leavened bread is slowly making a comeback but it is vital to ask questions and be a conscious consumer. Most 'sourdough' breads are made with white flours and conventional yeast even though they are called sourdough.It is vital to understand that any grain turned into bread be it whole wheat, spelt, or millet bread can be made using sourdough culture, it is not limited to the white bread most are familiar with.
Ask around at Whole Foods, your local Coop, and local bakery shops for yeast free sourdough leavened bread.