Sourdough bread involves an ancient process that came into existence thousands of years ago, satisfying man’s nutritional requirements ad infinitum without inducing the gluten intolerances and indigestibility that contemporary culture experiences with unfermented, chemical-laden, industrial breads.
Combining flour and water and then letting it stand for a period of time, allows naturally-occurring wild yeasts and bacteria in the grain and air to ferment and sour the mixture. Microorganisms derived from fermentation promote metabolic gut health:
– Pre-digesting anti-nutrients, such as gluten and phytates that may cause gut irritability;
– Slowing the speed at which glucose is released into the bloodstream, and;
– Improving the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, folic acid and other B-vitamins.
When baked, the fermented dough which had been bubbling with living organisms that created air pockets throughout, now gives rise to a bread of varied sponginess and tantalizing flavors that excite the palette, making true sourdough bread a superior stand-alone food as well as a delightful accompaniment to other wholesome foods.
If storing your sourdough bread on the countertop, place it in some type breathable containment, such as one made of paper or cotton. Storing it in a plastic or non-breathable space is an option however, note that non-breathable containment will prevent the moisture from evaporating into the air. Trapped moisture may then soften the crust and eventually cause the bread to become moldy.
The nature of all true sourdough bread is to lose moisture as a means of preserving itself and preventing mold for a longer period. As a result, the bread becomes crumbly and eventually hardens. To re-hydrate your bread, sprinkle or pat water on slices and warm them in a toaster or oven.
Sourdough breads freeze well. If storing in the freezer, you may want to consider slicing the loaf first, which will make preparation easier if eating the bread in portions.