Just about everyone has an affinity for some kind of bread, and most of us have heard of a reason or two why we maybe shouldn’t eat slice after slice of it. While there is some validity to the bread-bashing, sourdough made from your own unique starter of wild yeast and bacteria often defies the negativity, and it does so purely by its nature. The crafting of sourdough is an ancient art, and one of which we’re pretty fond–for a few (or 10) reasons. Continue reading
by Cynthia Lair
Some call them bacteria or bugs but the nice name for this lively population is “flora.” More than 500 different species make up the flora in our bodies, weighing in at between 2 and 5 pounds.
This colony of microbes doesn’t just coexist within us. Our health is dependent upon their ability to stay healthy and report for work each day. Here’s why.
Five ways bacteria help
Recently I have been asked about bread. How do you find a worthwhile loaf to spread you crunchy or creamy nut butter on?
Parents tell me that the ingredient list on bread packages is long and complicated. Difficult to tell if it is really a whole grain product or not. Others say that too many loaves contain high fructose corn syrup and cheap oils. All true. When it comes to bread, you will have to pay more to get less – meaning: if you want a really tasty whole grain bread with very few ingredients, it’ll cost.
In the Seattle area we have some excellent local bakeries like Essential Baking Company . One of my favorite characters is a loaf called Pain du George which lists; whole wheat flour, water and salt on it’s wrapper. When you bite into the chewy moist bread you immediately taste the mild sourness telling you that George has some fermented starter growing in his refrigerator.
For digestibility, I tend to choose a sourdough (fermented) bread or a sprouted bread. Fermenting dough can enhance mineral absorption and some studies show that wheat sensitive folks are able to tolerate bread made by using a lengthy sourdough process. Other studies claim that sourdough wholegrain bread doesn’t spike blood sugar the way regular bread (whole grain or not) might. If you want to make your own sourdough bread, you can purchase starter online or make your own using the recipe in Sandor’s book Wild Fermentation.
Sprouted grain bread involves soaking the grain and allowing it to sprout. The sprouted seedlings are then mashed together and baked. Sprouting allows the enzymes in the grain to convert some of the carbohydrates and fats to vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These flourless whole grain breads are light and very digestible – a nice choice for young children.