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Did you know that sourdough dates back to ancient Egyptian times? Before the invention of commercial yeast, it was the main method of bread-making for centuries. Our popular baguette à l’ancienne pays homage to this age-old process, with the leavening coming from the air and the wheat, rather than anything artificial!
Rustic, simple and pure, the ingredients of Irrewarra sourdough bread are simply Australian flour, filtered water, sourdough culture and sea salt. We’ve been nurturing the culture used in our sourdough since 1995, and it’s added each time the bread is made. Although sourdough bread uses the same types of flour as most other bread, it’s the long fermentation process aided by this culture that helps to improve the nutritional and health benefits.
Here are the three reasons why we believe you should choose sourdough each day:
Whole-grain bread contains many nutritional minerals essential for supporting a healthy body, including potassium, phosphate, magnesium and zinc. Unfortunately, our body’s capacity to absorb these minerals can be limited by the presence of phytic acid (commonly known as phytate), a natural substance found in grain.
Enter sourdough: research suggests that lactic acid in sourdough (thanks to its fermentation process) deactivates the phytate, lowering the pH of the bread and enabling us to absorb all these fantastic nutritional goodies. Another slice, please.
Our bread is still handmade from the original homemade culture that John and Bronwynne Calvert created in 1995. Containing local wild yeast and bacteria, this culture allows the bread to ferment slowly, breaking down gluten to make the bread a little softer on our digestive systems.
According to some studies, the sourdough fermentation process also produces a prebiotic that helps to feed the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut, which is essential for overall gut health.
While sourdough bread still contains gluten, we have heard from many of our gluten-sensitive customers that they find sourdough much easier to tolerate than other commercially yeasted breads.
Sourdough’s long fermentation process is the gift that keeps on giving – starch levels are lowered during fermentation, leading to a much lower glycemic index (GI) than regular white bread.
A low GI ranking indicates that sourdough bread is digested and absorbed at a much slower rate by the body, producing a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. Diabetes Australia recommends a wholegrain sourdough bread as one of the best bread options for those with diabetes, but low GI foods can also assist all of us by providing the body with sustainable sources of fuel.
And here’s a bonus benefit – we don’t use preservatives or emulsifiers in our bread either! These additives unnaturally prevent mould and slow staling, and while this might sound like a plus, artificial preservatives and emulsifiers can have negative health effects. The absence of these additives is one of the reasons that we recommend storing your precious loaves in linen or cloth to allow them to breathe – take a look at some of our other sourdough storage tips here.
At Irrewarra, we’re proud to continue the tradition of crafting this nutritious, low GI and delicious loaf for you and your family to enjoy! Look for our sourdough bread at your local retailer, plus sign up to our email newsletter to be the first to hear about new products, stockists and more.