Downloadable: free instructions "in 4 steps to your sourdough bread"
The History of Sourdough
Most of the baked goods that we buy from the baker around the corner these days are actually something very new for our bodies. Lots of artificial additives are added to them so that "the baker" can save the time of a traditional dough preparation that would normally take several days.
Also the baker's yeast was first used for baking on a large scale in 1846 and is therefore still a rather unfamiliar food. Previously, yeast was only known from beer production. Before the 19th century, nobody would have thought of baking bread directly with the freshly ground flour. At that time, people were already very well aware that plants produce their own protective substances, so-called lectins, against predators, which are also harmful to us after consumption.
One of these protective compounds is the gluten in grains, which is a fairly stubborn lectin. Even baking will not help to destroy it since it is resistant to heat. Only fermentation by lactic acid bacteria can break down the gluten into its individual parts and make it less harmful to humans.
Fermentation techniques for various grains and legumes can therefore be found in all cultures worldwide. The Vikings fermented their barley, in South America corn was fermented and in Africa millet rice was fermented before it was baked into flatbread. In India, "Idli", a mixture of rice and beans, is still fermented regularly to this day.
What happens during fermentation?
Proper fermentation of lectin-rich grains allows components such as gluten to be largely broken down. Basically, the fermentation process always works the same way and is amazingly easy to carry out. All you have to do is leave the food to be fermented (preferably airtight) for an extended period of time. Wild yeasts and lactic acid bacteria settle here, which use the dough (in the case of flour fermentation) as a food source and pre-digest it.
For people who are particularly sensitive to the lectins in grain, fermentation can therefore be a suitable solution to make baked goods more digestible again. At least an occasional enjoyment of bread and rolls is often possible again and can give those affected back a large part of their quality of life.
You are probably familiar with the fermentation process from other foods, such as yoghurt, pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, miso or tempeh. The basic principle behind it is always the same. Fermented foods are not only more digestible due to the pre-digestion, but also provide an extra portion of healthy lactic acid bacteria, which your microbiome is extremely happy about.
At Lykaia, homemade ferments like sauerkraut and tempeh are part of our weekly menu. We have also tried our hand at sourdough bread several times and the last results have been excellent.
Make your own bread in 4 easy steps
Because there are countless videos and entire books on the Internet that make it far too complicated, we have reduced the process to the 4 most important steps and created a quick guide for sourdough bread. You can get your instructions here Download for free, print out, hang on the fridge and get started right away!
With this approach we have now succeeded several times and we hope that you too can bring the pleasure of fresh, homemade sourdough bread into your home.