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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sourdough breads

Sourdough Cranberries and Walnut Bread

Jumbo walnuts were added into the bread.

Basic Sourdough bread

We had been baking loaves of breads at home every week. Since we started making our own sourdough starter, we had been baking some tangy taste and chewy texture of sourdough breads. During our visit to San Francisco last year, we maanges to visit one of the famous bakery, San Francisco bakery. San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the U.S. today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849. Sourdough also became popular because of its ability to combine well with seafoods and soups such as cioppino, clam chowder, and chili.

What is so great about sourdough:

(1) It is delicious and has a unique flavor

(2) With sourdough bread, complex carbohydrates are broken down into more digestible simple sugars and protein is broken down into amino acids. Enzymes develop during proofing which are not lost in baking since the center of the loaf remains at a lower temperature than the crust. It’s the fermentation, partly from lactobacillus, that makes eating good quality bread an aid to digestion of all complex carbohydrate foods including other grains, beans, and vegetables. It helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination.
Sourdough makes certain minerals (iron, zinc, magnesium, and others) in whole grains more available for absorption by our bodies by facilitating the breakdown of phytic acid, a compound in grain bran that inhibits mineral absorption.
It is more digestible for those with gluten sensitives and removing anti-nutrients.

(3) Sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index — a measure of how high and how quickly blood sugar spikes after eating a food — than bread made with commercial yeast. This makes it a better choice for people with, or at risk for, diabetes.

(4) longer shelf-life.  Sourdough bread does not mold as quickly as other breads as the fermentation acts as a natural preservative.

Baking a sourdough bread really needs time, patience and planning as it need more than 10 hours, and sometimes more than a day for making a bread!

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