About Us

We Love Sourdough

Give your taste buds a treat while getting all the amazing benefits of Sourdough at MudJewel's Bakehouse. We value quality and fresh ingredients above all else, and strive to be mindful of everything we put in our products.  Supporting local business is also very important.  We try to include local ingredients whenever possible.

Our original creations and signature products are sure to meet your expectations. You can also give us a call to order something extra special.


The Benefits of Sourdough

Here’s a summary of the many benefits of sourdough, as revealed by research done in the past fifteen years (1):

  • Sourdough LAB can modify the bits of gliadin and glutenin protein in wheat flour that are toxic to people with coeliac disease (CD) and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity(2-6). This doesn’t mean CD sufferers can eat all (or even any) sourdough bread. It doesmean that there is a time-honoured method for making wheat flour more digestible and that we urgently need to know which types of bread on sale in the shops deploy this to real effect.

  • LAB (including those commonly found in sourdough bread) produce beneficial compounds: antioxidants (7), the cancer-preventive peptide lunasin (8), and anti-allergenic substances, some of which may help in the treatment of auto-immune diseases (9). Interestingly, these by-products seem able to survive heating, suggesting that baked sourdough bread may have ‘probiotic’ potential (10) by stimulating immune responses in the gut (11).

  • Bread, especially if made with unrefined flour, is a significant source of dietary minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. But a slice of fast-made wholemeal may be nutritious only in theory if its contents pass straight through the body without being absorbed. The main culprit here is phytic acid, present in the bran layers of cereals, which ‘locks up’ the important minerals. Several hours of fermentation with sourdough is sufficient to neutralise phytic acid and make the minerals more bioavailable (12-13).

  • Problematic protein fragments are not the only thing in bread that we might want to reduce to a minimum. Acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen, can be found in bread crusts. Long fermentation, typical of sourdough systems, can reduce levels of the amino-acid asparagine that is a precursor of acrylamide formation (14).

  • Bread is often avoided by those affected by weight-gain and metabolic syndrome – rightly, perhaps, in the case of industrial white loaves with a high glycaemic index (GI). But sourdough LAB produce organic acids that, under the heat of baking, cause interactions that reduce starch availability. The lowest GI breads are whole-grain sourdoughs with a compact texture (15).                                                                                                                                                           © Andrew Whitley 2013


That's a pretty compelling list of benefits even if we ignore the fact that bread-related metabolic complaints have proliferated just as the time taken to ferment most commercial bread has reduced. It’s this interplay of time and commercial advantage that should make us ask searching questions of some of the ‘sourdough’ breads now on offer.

Signs that your sourdough is real:

  • the bakery keeps its own sourdough starter (if it doesn't, it must be using dried sourdough powder)

  • the bread is made from scratch on the premises (i.e. is not ‘half-baked’ or re-heated)

  • the baker knows what sourdough is and is happy to discuss the process and the time it takes

  • the bread has no added baker’s yeast – or any additives, though this is hard to establish since the most problematic enzyme additives are classed as ‘processing aids’ and don’t have to be declared on the label

  • it tastes good and is easy on the digestion

Since there is no legal definition of sourdough, despite the Real Bread Campaign's call for one, it is quite possible to give this name to a bread made with a dried sourdough powder or ‘pre-mix’ and raised quickly with baker’s yeast.

Such bread may be shaped in a winsome ‘boule’. It may even have a hint of flavour. But it’s unlikely to deliver on any of the benefits listed above unless lactic acid bacteria have fermented the dough for several hours. It’s even possible that ‘sourdough’ is being used as an opportunistic descriptor of ordinary bread in the hope of selling more, rather as the label ‘organic’ would be used by unscrupulous greengrocers in the days before that trade was properly regulated.

But the best way knowing that your sourdough is genuine is to make it yourself. And the really good news is that it’s easy to fit it into busy lives.

There's plenty of myth-busting advice, along with real sourdough recipes in DO Sourdough - Real Bread for Busy Lives. Sourdough wheat bread - the basic recipe.

October 2014 saw the publication of a study, initiated by Andrew, of the effect of bread fermentation time on the gut bacteria of patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is the first part of a wider investigation into the under-researched issue of how breadmaking method affects digestibility and nutrient availability. Bread Matters plays an advisory role in this work, which will provide robust evidence for public-health-led innovation in milling and baking technologies. 
The title of the article is 
Effect of Breadmaking Process on In Vitro Gut Microbiota Parameters in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The authors are Adele Costabile, Sara Santarelli, Sandrine P. Claus, Jeremy Sanderson, Barry N. Hudspith, Jonathan Brostoff, Jane L. Ward, Alison Lovegrove, Peter R. Shewry, Hannah E. Jones, Andrew M. Whitley and Glenn R. Gibson.

Read the Abstract or the full article here

© Andrew Whitley 2013