Photo: One Mile Bakery Hale
Spotlight on Sourdough
Bread gets a bad rep. Whether it is your morning toast or your lunchtime sarnie, we are often being told to avoid it. However, consider the rule of ‘everything in moderation’ and understand that bread can be a very nutritious (and delicious) part of a healthy balanced diet – especially the good quality stuff. And, the fact that our personal favourite comes with a list of health benefits is just an added bonus.
Sourdough is a bread made from the natural occurring yeast and bacteria in flour. Generally speaking, in some good quality sourdough loaves you’ll find just three ingredients: the sourdough starter (which consists of flour and water), salt and flour. The sourdough starter is usually left to sit for several days, giving it time for the yeast to grow, ferment and become ready for baking. Unlike ‘regular bread’, (hence the name) sourdough has a slightly more sour taste and tends to have better keeping qualities than your usual supermarket sliced loaves. With minimal ingredients, It’s about as natural as it gets when it comes to bread.
Sourdough is made by the fermentation of dough, therefore can be more digestive friendly. It uses naturally occurring lactobacilli which is a bacteria that helps to ferment the flour/water mixture and could increase the micronutrient profile.
The fermentation process can be great for our digestive health and the beneficial bacteria present in the dough could help to feed the healthy bacteria found in our gut and potentially aid digestion. As we know, promoting healthy digestion is key, a healthy gut is important for our mental and physical health and our immune system.
As well as this, many types of bread contain important minerals would could be beneficial to the body, however due to the presence of phytic acid (aka phytate), the absorption of these minerals is limited. But, the lower phytate content in sourdough, could help to increase mineral absorption, making this bread potentially more nutritious than the conventional.
There are many highly processed supermarket loaves on the shelves these days, and when it comes to checking the back of the packet, at times, there is an ingredient list as long as your arm! Most freshly baked sourdough loaves only contains a few, recognisable (!) ingredients, giving it another gold star on comparison!
The above are just some of the reasons why Sourdough has always been our go to bread choice here at The Garden. Teamed up with some smashed avo to make everyone’s favourite breakfast, or dunked in our ‘Earth Friendly Soup’, you can’t go wrong!
Photo: One Mile Bakery Hale
So what if you want to have it at home?
Although it is perfect popping into the cafe for your sourdough staple, if you know how to add it to your meals at home you’re winning! Below are some DIY tips and ideas to explore and use in your own kitchen.
Pop a slice in the toaster and add your favourite toppings.
With a balance of healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates and fibre, these are my morning sourdough additions:
Dip it in your soup, houmous or your soft boiled eggs. A slice of sourdough means an addition of fibre, carbohydrates and helps to leave you feeling full.
When your sourdough has been in the bread bin for a little too long, don’t waste it! Create croutons for a nutritious little crunch.
Chop up your leftovers, drizzle in oil and then fry, bake or grill adding the flavours of your choice.
Know of a friend with a sourdough starter? Ask them to share the love! Leave the starter to ferment, find a convenient recipe then get baking!
Once you’ve found a local bakery serving a good quality sourdough, you’re sorted.
Shop around; check the ingredients and what’s on offer. White, brown or wholemeal – try every option going!
Here at The Garden, Trove Bakery provides us with the most delicious and highly recommendable wholemeal sourdough. Yum! For other local and tasty options check out ‘One Mile Bakery’ in Hale and ‘Lovingly Artisan’ at Altrincham Market.
Filled with fibre, antioxidants and easier to digest, Sourdough is putting bread back on the menu. YAY! Swing by The Garden to get your daily fix, and be sure to ask for more information on our September Sourdough workshop – It’s going to be splendid!