I recently attended a workshop at Okanagan Grocery on the art of Sourdough. The bread at Okanagan Grocery is amazing, and if you are in Kelowna, I recommend going. They use organic flour and breads ferment around 6-7 hours before baking.
This longer ferment time has great implications for our health. One of the theories on the increase in gluten intolerance is the fast track methods most commercial bakeries use to quickly turn out a lot of bread. Traditional sour dough is made with a living starter, flour, water and salt. That's it. No unpronounceable ingredients, like sodium-lactylate 2. Good thing, because I don't have any of it in my pantry and I'm guessing you don't either.
Fermenting the dough helps to break down some of the difficult to digest proteins (like gluten), making the bread easier on our digestive health. In addition to being easier to digest, a study has found that white sourdough bread caused less of a spike in blood sugar than even whole wheat flour (not whole grain).
The bread is chewy, with a crispy crust, and beautiful air holes inside. The flavor is incredible. You'll know you're eating real bread, and good luck going back to commercial bread!
We came home with a baked loaf, and another to bake that evening, as well as our own starter.
We also were treated to croissants baked properly, fresh from the oven and filled with callebaut chocolate, so this course was also a fun outing., which is great because my mum was visiting from Winnipeg and attended with me. (she's also the one who took this photo...she's an even worse food photographer than I am! Sorry Mum, I know you read my blog!)