Wild Bread

I am reading this great resource for my sourdough experiments. The name of the book is “Wild Bread” by Lisa Rayner.  Lisa does a very nice job of presenting a wide variety of information on the benefits of cooking with ancient grains and using sourdough bacteria and yeast to make breads. Did you know that sourdough bread made with traditional techniques has better mineral absorption, due to the decrease in phytate content? After 48 hours of fermentation only 15% of the phytates remain in the dough. Phytates bind to key minerals in our gut and decrease their absorption and availability, hence decreasing phytates will increase mineral absorption.

Help for Gluten Sensitivities

Lisa states in her chapter on the ecology of sourdough: “Because gluten is a relatively new food, evolutionarily speaking, the human digestive system cannot fully digest it. The wide-spread appearance of gluten intolerance syndromes such as celiac disease over the last 100 years might be due to the fact that modern diets contain a lot of unmodified gluten.

Lactic acid bacteria breakdnown wheat gluten by inserting water molecules into the gluten proteins (hydrolyzation), creating forms that are less irritating to people with gluten sensitivities and allergies (Journal of Applied and Enviormental Microbiologly, February 2004 p. 1088-1096 Vol 70, No. 2 “Sourdough Bread Made from Wheat and Nontoxic Flours and Started with Selected Lacobacilli Is Tolerated in Celiac Spruce Patients).

Scienctist  are working with several strains of lactobacilli that are especially good at this process to produce wheat bread that celiac sprue suffers can tolerate.”

Lower Blood Sugar Levels

“Sourdough breads have a substantially lower glycemic index than non-sourdough breads because the lactic acid produced by sourdough bacteria slows starch digestion.  A lower rank means a lower rise in blood sugar. Consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to the development of diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high blood triglycerides, low blood levels of HDL, heart disease and possibly some cancers.

Breads made with white flour and baker’s yeast gave the same glycemic index as table sugar-100. WHole grain bread made with baker’s yeast and sourdough breads made with refined white flour have a mid-range glycemic index. One hundred percent whole grain sourdough breads have alow glycemic index similar to whole grains and legumes.” Note glycemic index; The index (1-100) ranks foods according to how fast they raise blood sugar after a meal.