Sourdough September is part of the real bread revolution using 100% wholemeal flour; the glycemic response is also dependent on the microbiome.
Food lovers in the UK are turning out a new revolution known as real bread; but of course it is not a new way of baking our loaves, but the way it is been done for thousands of years.
It comes in part because of the commercial loaf is so tasteless; it does fill a gaping hole in the belly but without jams, jellies and ham it’s horrid. More important though it induces a high blood glucose response; that researchers have just confirmed is indeed associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. And at this time of succumbing to C-19 when you are infected.
And once you’ve sampled the sourdough version of real bread, you will find it tastes so good that anything more than just plain butter is superfluous.
I have extensively covered the meaning of real bread in this column; simply it means baking with freshly ground wholemeal that has exactly the same proportions of bran, germ and white flour as in the original grain. That means you have to own a wheat mill.
This month the afficionados in the UK are having a huge celebration of baking real bread the old-fashioned way using a sourdough starter instead of dried yeast.
So, what is sourdough, and why is it so good? There are many ways of doing this which you can explore on the web, but in essence you add a culture of yeasts and bacterial to the dough; often this would be a lump of the active dough kept back from yesterday. I instead keep a living culture that I scoop from every morning. You feed it just rye flour and perhaps a little raw honey now and then.
These bugs start the digestion of the carbs releasing gas that makes the dough rise and produce a variety of sour tasting healthy nutrients that give the loaf its amazing flavour; it is these acids that also slow the rate at which the glucose produced from the starch is released into the blood stream. That means it has a low GI. Researchers give it a mouthful; postprandial glycemic response.
However, even this remains controversial. A group of Israeli researchers found that this is not necessarily the case. It is dependent on whether you are using true 100% wholemeal, the sourdough culture used and whether you have a happy microbiome; for this reason we also make and take kefir regularly.
Sourdough September discusses making your loaf the traditional way.
Just as important, the sourdough predigests the gluten in the flour. Gluten is a protein, essential to making a decent loaf, but it contains an amino acid, proline, that is resistant to digestion in the normal proving time, leaving short chain fragments that cause havoc in the intestines of roughly one in a hundred people.
Researchers have found that even most of those suffering from a very severe form of gluten intolerance called Coeliac Sprue can enjoy sourdough bread that has had a very long fermentation time; at least 24 hours.
Without sourdough, those suffering from gluten sensitivity are unable to enjoy the proven benefits of many whole grains.
Try baking some sourdough this September. Once you get started it is not difficult; it takes me literally five minutes every morning.
Sourdough bread stays fresh much longer by the way and is far less likely to go mouldy. For one day only, you can keep it in a plastic bag but, for longer periods, paper is better. If you bake daily as we do, it makes no difference.
Slice any left over and freeze it in a sealed bag. You can pop it straight into the toaster. Or simply crumble stale bits and use it mop up a soup or stew; you won't know the difference with sourdough bread.
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