In recent years, sourdough bread has grown exponentially both in consumer popularity & demand. As a result, every cafe, bakery & supermarket wants a slice of the action. The result is a lot of white bread masquerading as sourdough - I call it "SourFaux"..
"SourFaux" is usually leavened (raised) with added yeast as opposed to naturally occurring yeast starter culture in real sourdough bread – this is the real tell-tale sign if added yeast is listed on the ingredients.
SourFaux also contains artificial flavourings to mimic the sour taste of authentic sourdough bread. People need to know, that what they are buying is very likely, not authentic sourdough bread!
LONG FERMENT SOURDOUGH BREAD
Traditionally made Long Ferment Sourdough bread, contains all the beneficial yeasts & bacteria that support our gut microbiome, making it easy for us to digest. In fact, many people with a gluten intolerance can easily digest long ferment sourdough bread!
The key to the benefits of real sourdough bread lie with the starter culture. It takes several days (10 to be exact) for the beneficial yeast & bacteria to reach the stage, whereby they are ready to bake with.
This long fermentation process to prepare the starter is then followed by several hours of mixing, proving, kneading & proving again...
As you can imagine all of this takes time, effort & real skill, which naturally comes at a price.
On a commercial scale, very few attempt it, because it’s simply less profitable!
Facts: Real sourdough bread is made without flour improvers, dough conditioners, flavour enhancers, preservatives, chemical leavening (baking powder, bicarbonate of soda) or any other artificial additive.
Real sourdough bread goes through a fermentation process which takes time.
For bakeries & supermarkets looking to 'pile them high & sell them cheap' this simply doesn’t work on an economic scale.
They have to cut corners - big corners - using all of the above corner cutting additives, enhancers & preservatives...
Thankfully, there are a handful of bakers & bakeries in Ireland making traditional style long ferment sourdough bread. These can be found on realbreadireland.org . They run a campaign (#realbread) to educate, inform and promote real bread across social media.
I also run workshops in sourdough making but mainly, as a fan of long ferment sourdough bread, I want to support these master bakers, who are keeping the tradition & health promoting benefits of long ferment sourdough alive!