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Yeast bread or sourdough bread, which is better?

  1. Many people wonder if sourdough bread is better for you than yeast bread. Because it sounds more 'authentic', sourdough bread is often thought to be healthier. But is that also the case?

  1. To separate fact from fable: it has never been shown that sourdough bread is healthier than yeast bread. That does not mean, of course, that this is not the case by definition. We cannot stress enough here that the link between nutrition and health is just about the hardest thing that can be scientifically proven. After all, the variables are endless.

Yeast

  1. Yeast bread is actually a fairly recent development. Yeast is a living microorganism, in fact a fungus, which has gradually developed in all kinds of forms in yeast factories. The special thing about yeast is that it can live in two ways, with or without oxygen. If there is oxygen, yeast will multiply. If there is no oxygen - for example when yeast is processed in a dough - it switches to a so-called anaerobic lifestyle. It does this by fermenting the sugars in the dough and converting it into CO2 and alcohol. Not every yeast culture can do this equally well. Some only ferment fructose, others only glucose. Bakers use a yeast form that can convert both sugars, because both are found in bread dough.

Sourdough

  1. Until well into the 19th century, bread dough was only allowed to rise with sourdough. This process, like almost all complex processes in food production, was discovered by accident very early (in this case probably by the ancient Egyptians). Sourdough is in fact nothing more than a mixture of flour and water that will spontaneously ferment in a warm environment. This happens because the lactic acid bacteria in the flower start to multiply. That is why sourdough also has a noticeably sour taste. Nowadays it often happens that yeast is used in addition to flour and water in the preparation of sourdough. Technically speaking, the term 'brew' is more correct than sourdough in this case, but bakers rarely use it.

Health versus taste

  1. The choice of yeast or sourdough mainly has consequences for the structure (how does it rise?) And taste of the bread. Bread that is skillfully baked with sourdough will have a more characteristic aroma, the crumb is more tender and resilient and the shelf life is slightly better. The main advantage of sourdough bread for you as a bread eater is that baking it by definition involves a lot of craftsmanship. Baking yeast bread can also work out well for a good amateur. A lot more can go wrong when baking sourdough bread. The outcome is therefore very uncertain if you do not know exactly what you are doing. Sourdough bread is almost by definition professional bread and craftsmanship always tastes better.

Slow rising

  1. In any case, an artisan baker with craftsmanship will always let his bread - whether from yeast or sourdough - rise slowly. Much slower than with industrial bread. And that could indeed have health benefits: bread from dough with a slow rise contains significantly less phytic acid. And that could be beneficial to the organism's absorption of minerals.

No legal protection

  1. In short: yeast bread or sourdough bread? It's all a matter of taste. It is especially important that it comes from a good traditional baker. The latter is also very important because the term 'sourdough bread' does not enjoy any legal protection. Anyone can label any loaf of bread as 'sourdough bread' to ask for more money. The Inspection Service of Value has established that this also happens on a large scale: industrial bakeries mix some sourdough powder through the bread, creating a sour taste, but otherwise the bread is 'normal' bread that rises and is baked in the shortest possible time. So if you're looking for the health benefits of slow-rising bread, go to a real baker you trust.

  2. In short: yeast bread or sourdough bread? It's all a matter of taste. It is especially important that it comes from a good traditional baker. The latter is also very important because the term 'sourdough bread' does not enjoy any legal protection. Anyone can label any loaf of bread as 'sourdough bread' to ask for more money. The Inspection Service of Value has established that this is also happening on a large scale: industrial bakeries mix some sourdough powder with the bread.



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