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