Why Old-World Style Sourdough?

 

 

The Old-World Style

You might be wondering what exactly is old-world style bread and why is it different than other kinds of bread? Understanding the old-world style baking technique helps answer the bread questions of our era - is bread really unhealthy? And what about gluten-sensitivity?

Aside from the small percentage of the population who suffer from celiac disease, humans survived on and depended upon bread for centuries, having far fewer of the gluten sensitivity problems that we face today. Old-world style bread is healthy and in fact, it contains all the nutrients that a human needs to survive. The old-world baking technique calls for the right kind of flour, a natural yeast starter and a long fermentation process [1].

The Flour

After WWII, society industrialized the wheat milling process to make flour cheaper, more widely available and shelf-stable. How was this achieved? By stripping the bran and the germ from the wheat during the milling process, and then bleaching it. The result is the non-perishable, all-purpose white flour that is most well-known today. The problem is that the parts of the wheat that are removed contain all the nutrients, minerals and protein. Some research suggests that over several generations, this profit-producing short-cut ultimately led to gluten sensitivity [1, 2].

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Flour: The Red Branch Method

We only use unbleached flour for all of our breads and products  

The Yeast

To make grains easily digestible and to unlock the nutrients, they need to be fermented using a culture of bacterias. In bread, this is where the natural yeast starter comes into play. In the simplest terms, a starter is created by combining flour and water and leaving it exposed to the air which introduces bacteria into the culture [1].

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Starter: The Red Branch Method

We use a natural yeast starter that is composed of bacteria from the Loveland air. It's several years old and is fed and maintained daily  

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Click here to view a 20 second video of our starter doing it's bubbling thing.
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The Fermentation Process

After the bread dough is made using the natural yeast starter, it’s left alone for hours to ferment, producing a bacteria known as lactobacilli (or “friendly bacteria”) [3]. The fermentation process makes the bread easier to digest because it breaks down the carbohydrates and water molecules make their way into the gluten strands, which lessens the gluten content of the wheat [3]. Finally, the fermentation process releases the nutrients while creating lactic and acetic acids which helps create a healthy gut biome [4]. This fermentation process produces bread that is far more nutritious than the majority of store-bought bread, which uses processed flour and fast-acting yeast [1]. 
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Fermentation: The Red Branch Method

We use a 12 hour (overnight) long fermentation. This is the reason why you have to place your order in advance

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The picture below is a top-angle view at the end of the long fermentation process.

Gluten Sensitivity

Along with bleached, processed flour, fast-acting yeast represents a major factor contributing to the gluten sensitivity problem. While this yeast forces the dough to rise quickly, it’s a shortcut that skips the fermentation process and thus skips the process of unlocking all the nutrients [1]. We hear all the time that folks who are gluten-sensitive are able to eat the bread in San Francisco or Europe. We believe that this is because in these places, they use these old-world baking techniques, making bread using natural yeast starter and long fermentation! 

To Sum it Up

Although the old-world bread-baking technique requires time and patience, the end product is more nutritious, not to mention delicious. We’re obsessed with this bread and that’s why our mission is to deliver happiness through simple, old-world baking techniques. And as a customer once said to us: “life’s too short to eat sh*tty bread.”

CLICK HERE TO ORDER BREAD NOW

Want to learn more? 

Here are our all-time favorite docu-series/movies, as well as a few quick articles:

Videos

  • Cooked - by Michael Pollan, a 4-part mini series that explores the four natural elements – fire, water, air and earth. The third episode, Air, is all about bread, gluten and fermentation. Currently available on Netflix.
  • In Defense of Food (book and movie) - by Michael Pollan, “[It] describes the decline of food in exchange for diets driven by science and nutritional data, how this decline has ruined our health and what you can do to return to food as a simple, cultural, natural aspect of life.” 
  • Sustainable “is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations”

Articles

 Sources

  1. Cooked 
  2. In Defense of Food
  3. Why Long-Fermented Sourdough Bread Is Actively Good For You
  4. Why is it that I Can Digest Sourdough Bread and not Commercial Bread?