3 Reasons Why Long Fermentation (Sourdough) Makes Better Bread
Before commercial yeast was created during the Industrial Revolution, every baker in the world cultivated their very own live culture, or sourdough starter. A "starter" requires daily feedings and attention in order to keep it alive for future cultivation and use. Dating back as far as the Egyptians, the method of long fermentation, or sourdough, has been utilized for baking breads that hold more nutrition and easily digestible carbohydrates.
It wasn't until the Industrial Revolution that bread baking methods altered to commercial yeast due to supply and demand, which was hugely accelerated by World War I. Bakers during this time began purchasing yeast from breweries to make starters that produced quickly rising bread doughs, without the wait times of traditionally cultivated yeasts. The trade off, however, is that the products produced from these rapid blends of yeast are bland, by comparison. These types of breads tend to lack the funky fermented breadiness (yes, I said that) that traditional sourdoughs provide.
Mission Road Foods' Values Statement, found on our Mission, Vision, & Values page, reflects the desire to get 'Back to Basics' and a belief to "in making real, fresh food, using only the highest quality ingredients." This is why using long fermentation, or sourdough, methodology while baking is very important to this company and we're passionate enough to tell you about it here in this 3 Reasons Why Long Fermentation (Sourdough) Makes Better Bread blog:
Reason Number 1 - Control of Flavor and Consistency
Bread isn't good bread unless the flavor is properly developed. Development takes time, a tight schedule, and a lot of attention in order to keep a culture that will produce viable bread that is both healthy and yummy.
Sourdough bread, developed with the fermentation process, has a thick and chewy crust and a soft and fluffy interior that can't be beat. It gives a savory, comforting flavor that only long fermentation can deliver. Commercial yeast is highly active and only allows for a small window of time in which to achieve the perfect product; this leaves the baker too much room for error when baking breads. Sourdough yeasts live a bit of more laid-back lifestyle; they develop over time, slowly, giving the baker the opportunity to bake a more consistent finished product.
Reason Number 2 - Healthier and Easier to Digest
A sourdough starter contains a variety of yeast and bacteria, living in harmony and balance. The natural, wild yeast culture is more diverse than commercial yeast, which all the same species of yeast. This yeast is naturally occurring, or found, on grains, such as wheat, that give us our baking flours.
When a starter is developed, there are numerous species of yeast and bacterial living in symbiosis, which each produce waste chemicals that are beneficial and used by the other. They each operate on their own pace and schedule and contribute in a different way to the finished product.
Additionally, the longer fermentation allows for a more thorough and complete fermentation so that you end up eating a food that, for lack of better words, is almost partially digested for you already. Those bacteria, and their finished product, are also considered probiotics, which aid in the digestion process in general. Since sourdough is made with natural yeast via the long fermentation process, it breaks down the material (flour) that makes the dough. Fermenting sourdough bread makes it easier for you to digest it when you eat it, and is considered healthier since the nutrients in the food become more accessible to your body.
Reason Number 3 - It's Tradition!
Good food is made with love, and the fermentation process takes a lot of love, knowledge, and traditional methods in order to work. This is the way it was always done. Your grandparents had a favorite bakery. Isn't it time for you to find yours?
All of our loaf breads at Mission Road Foods are made with the traditional, long fermentation sourdough methods and is the primary focus of our Menu. We are always updating our menu with newly developed bread ideas that we are excited for you to try!
Order today and get your very own traditionally baked sourdough bread!