|24 Hours in the Fridge|
With all the flack wheat and gluten is getting these days I thought it was important to talk about the benefits of naturally leavened bread. I know for myself there is a huge difference in how I feel afterwards if I eat pizza that has a dough with a quick rise, commercial yeast, as apposed to a long fermented, natural yeast dough. My stomach is getting real good at telling the difference. Check out this article on the subject. Don't forgo pizza, just eat GOOD pizza!
Bread was first leavened by the Egyptians around 2300 BC. They discovered that a mixture of flour and water left uncovered for several days bubbled and expanded. If mixed into unleavened dough and allowed to stand for a few hours before baking, it yields a light sweet bread. This kind of natural leavening remained the basis of Western bread baking until the 20th century when bread made from commercially prepared yeast was introduced.
Naturally leavened breads rise over time (6 to 8 hours or more) by the action of wild yeast spores drawn into the sourdough starter from the air. Mixing the starter with more flour and water and a little salt forms bread dough. As the unique and complex family of friendly bacteria thrives on the nutrient-rich whole grain flour and mineral-rich sea salt, they produce carbon dioxide gas. Fermentation continues, and the leavening or expansion of the bread dough creates a fine-grained, moist texture.
In the process of making sourdough bread, during the rising time (called proofing, or fermentation), bran in the flour is broken down, releasing nutrients into the dough. In particular, the phytic acid (phytin) in grain needs to be 90% neutralized in order for the minerals, concentrated in the bran, to be absorbed by the human body. According to experiments done in Belgium, phytin can be neutralized by natural bacterial action and to a lesser extent, by baking. In naturally leavened bread, the combination eliminates all phytin, while in commercially yeasted breads about 90% remains.
Furthermore, with sourdough bread, complex carbohydrates are broken down into more digestible simple sugars and protein is broken down into amino acids. Enzymes develop during proofing which are not lost in baking since the center of the loaf remains at a lower temperature than the crust.
It’s the fermentation, partly from lactobacillus, that makes eating good quality bread an aid to digestion of all complex carbohydrate foods, in this case grains, in the way fermented vegetables like kimchee and sauerkraut help aid digestion in the bacterial formation of probiotics. It helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination. These beneficial bacteria help control candida albicans, whereas baker’s yeast is a pro-candida organism. Naturally yeasted bread, made in the old world traditions, truly is "the staff of life" as it actually enhances the immune system. Taken from: Sourdough Bread and Health by, Mark Sircus AC., OMD
This book is an amazing book on naturally fermented dough. And the restaurant is fabulous and the photographs inspiring. I recommend it highly if you'd like to pursue making healthy bread at home.
Diggin' the Hipstamatic app!