Slow & Cold Rise Sourdough

Tolerated by Celiacs and I believe by Autistic children suffering from leaky gut syndrome. Here’s a great website with good, simple instructions on creating your own sourdough starter.

From their site:


All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer or bran.

Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.

Soaking allows enzymes, Lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralise phytic acid. As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water (sic) will neutralise a large portion of phytic acid in grains.

Soaking in warm water also neutralises enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins

During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption. If the fermentation process continues for long enough and the requisite bacteria are present then most if not all of the gluten may be broken down. This would explain why some gluten-intolerant people can digest sourdough bread without any symptoms of gluten allergy.

In India rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days, in Africa corn, millet and teff are fermented for several days, Mexican corn cakes are fermented for up to two weeks, in Europe grains were fermented for several days…” (p452-453 Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.)

Properly prepared sourdough bread combines the beneficial effects of Lactobacilli, yeasts, soaking in water, an acid pH and plenty of time. Commercially baked bread uses a fast acting yeast combined with rapid mixing to produce dough ready to bake in less than a few hours. The pH of the bread is alkaline or neutral, no Lactobacilli are involved, only one strain of yeast is used, and the conditions are not suitable for neutralising phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and breaking down gluten into a more digestible form.

Even sourdough yeasts can reach such a state of activity that the dough has risen before the primary beneficial effects of the sourdough process have had a chance to take effect. It is not unusual for sourdough to reach its peak in a few hours, which is barely enough time for the Lactobacilli to get started. (Sound familiar). (Also, it is not unusual for the microflora of a starter to change. A San Francisco starter may be a San Francisco starter in San Francisco but culture it on the Gold Coast of Australia in a different environment and the microflora may change into something unique to the Gold Coast.)

Many sourdough breads are not true sourdough because there has not been sufficient time for the bacteria to produce enough lactic acid to give the bread that characteristic flavour. (In fact many commercial sourdough breads taste much the same as a non-sourdough bread.) If you want to gain the full benefits of sourdough bread you need to ensure that Lactobacilli are present in large enough quantities, and find a way to lengthen the period of fermentation.

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