By Bernard Preston

Kefir sourdough bread

Kefir sourdough bread makes for a more digestible and tasty loaf.

If you really want and enjoy a scrumptious, healthful loaf of bread, then quit buying that from the supermarket, purchase a small oven and start baking your own.

Before rushing out, consider first that the bread oven is apparently the most underutilised appliance in the kitchen, which means you can get them cheaply second-hand, but acts as a caution; do you really love the taste of good food enough to go through the schlep? It takes me about five minutes every morning; I consider it time well spent for the great flavour, and better health.

Can you, and will you make five minutes several days a week?

Let's face it, supermarket bread is awful; that's why you have to cover it with jelly, or worse, processed meat; it's a recipe for raised blood glucose, diabetes and cancer.

Kefir is a wonderful probiotic that improves the health of your colon by providing daily millions of healthy bacteria and yeasts to ferment the resistant starch that evades digestion in the small bowel, reaching the large intestine instead; that gives you less of a blood glucose surge.

You in essence are producing kurds and whey; you drink the latter, but the former build up and need to be shared with friends, but we also use it to add protein to our kefir sourdough bread; it improves the fermentation and lowers the glycemic index; that makes it less fattening too.

Three processes happen in the dough:

  1. Enzymes and yeast act aerobically on the starch in the flour producing carbon dioxide and water; oxygen is needed.
  2. When the oxygen is depleted deep in the dough, the yeasts change over to anaerobic fermentation, instead producing more carbon dioxide, and not water but ethanol.
  3. The bacteria in the sourdough take it a step further by metabolising the sugars from the starch to lactic and acetic acid, for example. This fermentation of the maltose in the dough, producing acetic acid and more flavour, is enhanced by the addition of fructose; we do this by adding honey.

The Chorleywood bread process that is used by large bakeries enhances the operation by using high speed mixing; this limits the anaerobic fermentation that gives your homemade loaf so much more flavour, instead producing the tasteless supermarket bread that we are all so familiar with.

In addition, it reduces the time needed to digest the proline in gluten that so many are intolerant of. Unlike the other amino acids it has a ring structure that is more resistant to enzyme action. Fragments of protein are left undigested causing an allergic reaction in the lining of the intestine.

Kefir sourdough bread

Kefir sourdough bread makes for better gluten tolerance and is one good way to use up the excess curds that build up when making your own probiotics.

You could use the whey, but really it's defeating the purpose of making kefir; the bugs would ferment the dough, but then they are killed by the baking. It should be reserved as the probiotic for which it is intended. Instead, separately make your own sourdough culture; it's so simple.

One final point is worth considering; just as it makes little sense to build a beautiful home on a poorly situated piece of ground, so we should take the time to locate the best ingredients for making your kefir sourdough bread; that means 100% stone ground wheat flour.

The ingredients are:

  1. 700ml 100% stoneground flour.
  2. 300ml unchlorinated water in which you have dissolved 1 tsp of salt, and another of honey.
  3. 1/2 cup of sourdough starter, see more below.
  4. 1 TBSP kefir kurds.
  5. 1 TBSP of butter or coconut oil.
  6. 1 tsp dried yeast.

Add all the ingredients, bar the yeast, to the baking tin, cover it and keep it overnight in the fridge. Or just for an hour if you want; the longer you leave it the more flavour it will have and if you are gluten intolerant you should keep it for 24 hours; that will allow time for the offending proline fragments to be fermented.

Next morning, add the dried yeast, and pop the baking tin into the bread machine. In five hours time you'll have the most delicious kefir sourdough bread.

If the loaf sinks, add a little less water; if you prefer a moist loaf, and it's too dry for your liking, add a little more water. You will have to experiment.

You may want to add more honey, I do because I'm a beekeeper, for the fructose that will enhance the fermentation and make the loaf marginally sweeter but also more sour; most of the sugars are turned to flavoursome organic acids.

Delayed salt

Salt delays the development of the gluten in your dough; adding it at the beat down stage, stirred into the butter, it means that less mixing or kneading will be necessary in general; that technique requires less disturbing of the inner part of the dough where there's no oxygen and encourage better anaerobic fermentation.

But you have to be omnipresent, and not forgetful; bread without salt is rather dull.

Read more about the delayed salt method at this site.



Take home

Kefir sourdough bread has much more flavour, the gluten is better tolerated by the gut and it has a lower glycemic index; it produces less of a blood sugar surge.

Once you're in the rhythm it takes only five minutes every morning.

These kefir benefits act as a probiotic.


  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Panera bread menu recipe
  3. Kefir sourdough bread



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