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Sourdough: The Healthy and Tangy Bread

sourdough bread

A healthier option than your normal bread, sourdough bread is the perfect dish to start your day. 

History of Sourdough Bread

Speculations are rife about the origins of sourdough bread but the first instance of its existence dates from 3700 BCE in Switzerland. There are other murmurs about the fermentation of sourdough bread going back thousands of years earlier; no one is quite sure how old it is. 

While it has been a staple in Europe since its inception, French bakers brought sourdough techniques to northern California in 1849 where it remains a part of the culture of San Francisco today. 

Sourdough bread started to spread to different areas of the United States and to Alaska in 1898 and then towards the Yukon territories of Canada. Sourdough bread has gradually been replaced by other types of bread in recent years due to the development of commercial yeast, but it has undergone a revival lately, especially with industrial bakers.

Image Credit: Karin Sjödahl from Pixabay 

The Flavor of Sourdough Bread

As already known by its given name, sourdough bread is sour and is also a bit tangy. The sourness of the bread comes from the acid produced by the starter. The ingredients, along with the combination of a warm environment, creates the perfect conditions for the starter to ferment. The bread takes its sour signature flavor from this fermentation process.

Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread

Considered one of the healthiest bread options, sourdough has several health benefits attached to it. Sourdough bread is a natural probiotic; the presence of probiotic cultures has shown to increase vitamin and mineral absorption. It can also be beneficial for those with gluten intolerance.

Culinary Benefits of Sourdough Bread 

We love sourdough, especially at breakfast. There are many different spreads that can be used on sourdough. Peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, salted butter, or Nutella, the options are near limitless. Try our recipe for Egg and Salmon Toasts on Sourdough. Perhaps somewhat obviously, sourdough makes for a great sandwich. The tangy flavor works well with lots of savory flavors. We also love sourdough in French toasts, bread puddings, or as croutons. 

Types of Sourdough Bread

There are at least 16 types of sourdough bread from all around the world. Some of the more famous sourdough breads include Bazlama, which is flat, circular, and leavened; Borodinsky bread; Russian dark brown rye bread; Butterbrot, a German staple bread; and Rugbrød, a Danish rye bread. 

One of the more famous Sourdough breads is Coppia Ferrarese. This bread has a twisted shape and is made with flour, lard, malt, and olive oil. Another extraordinary sourdough bread is the sweet Pumpernickel, which is German-based and is made with a combination of flour made from rye as well as whole rye grains.

Storage 

Sourdough bread usually stays fresh for 4 to 5 days. Avoid using the fridge as it will dry out the bread quickly. It is best if you store your loaf in a cotton bread bag, wrapped in a large tea towel, or in a plastic bag. You should leave your bread in a relatively cool place. This will allow it to maintain normal ambient moisture levels.

Feature Image: Monika_T from Pixabay 

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