Real Bread Week kicks off this Saturday. A week that celebrates real bread that’s better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet too! To champion real bread, we’re answering your burning bread questions. What the heck is sourdough, for starters? Is sourdough good for you, and how – by supporting local bakers – can you help your local community, farmers and the planet? Oh and did we mention, we’re giving away a whole year’s supply of bread to one lucky customer? Scroll down for more info.
Let’s start simple. What is sourdough?
Sourdough bread is made using only three ingredients: flour, water and salt. Making sourdough is a relatively slow process of leavening bread using natural wild yeasts and bacteria naturally present in ground grain (a.k.a flour). Sourdough is what people would have just called ‘bread’ before the days of the industrialised, processed, additive-filled bread that we can now buy in supermarkets.
Why is sourdough good for you?
Sourdough is more digestible than other loaves and more nutritious too. The slow process of making sourdough bread, using a mixture of natural yeast and helpful bacteria (known as a starter) is what helps to make the bread easier to digest and can help people with mild intolerances. By definition, mass-production means making a lot in little time. Big bakers speed up the process by adding commercial, fast-action yeast, along with other ingredients, to optimise their speedy product.
To explain, the wild yeast and lactobacillus used to make sourdough neutralises the phytic acid that is present in grain, which humans find hard to absorb and which stops our bodies from absorbing as many nutrients. What’s more, foods that are acidic, like sourdough, have a lower glycemic index, or GI, than foods that are less acidic. This means they have less of an impact on our blood sugar levels and can also be more filling.
The real bread revolution is here
There is a growing movement among local bakers to return to traditional methods of making bread, using quality organic flour from local farms and mills. Not only is this a good thing for the flavour and nutrition in your loaf, it’s better for local economies too. Supporting local bakers who are getting their ingredients from local farmers and millers means that every pound you spend on real bread is kept in your local economy, supporting more jobs per loaf and helping farmers make a living.
Bakers are seeing the benefits, too. Our sourdough bakers at BreadBread use stone-ground, organic flour from English mills. This is what they have to say: “Water-milled, stone-ground, organic flour represents a recreation of the agricultural landscape. The outlook for both our soil quality and our own physical health has been deteriorating ever since intensive farming was developed to increase yield over quality. Thankfully, farmers, millers, bakers and customers are becoming increasingly committed to better ingredients as well as the Real Bread Campaign.” We couldn’t agree more.
What has bread got to do with helping the planet?
Buying bread from local bakers who source their ingredients from local farms and millers cuts food miles (check out this super local miller in Brixton!) and the use of diesel-guzzling lorry loads. Eating bread from flour that was grown with attention to soil health and the farming environment is also key. BreadBread also cut food waste by selling unsold bread at the end of a day at cut price.
Want to win a whole year’s supply of real bread? Spend a minimum of £60 at farmdrop.com, use the code YEAROFBREAD at the checkout and enter our prize draw. Offer ends midnight 24 February 2019. Terms and conditions apply.