3 Reasons To Bake Sourdough Bread While Staying At Home

by Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Last Updated: June 8, 2020

Does sourdough bread seem to be taking over your social media feeds? Are you seeing daily progress pictures of homemade sourdough starters and thinking, ‘what is that bubbling goo?’ From pictures of sourdough starters affectionately named “Bob,” to beginner bread bakers beaming with pride while holding their first freshly baked loaves, to artisan sourdough dusted with flour that looks like a magazine cover, sourdough is everywhere! Baking bread, especially sourdough, is the newest quarantine trend for foodies and novice bakers alike. Here are three reasons you should join in (you might want to start thinking of the perfect name for your starter now).
  1. It’s what you need right now.
    During uncertain times like these, people need comfort. What’s more comforting than freshly baked bread? The aroma coming from the kitchen, the first bite into warm, chewy carb heaven,the fact that you made it yourself...all great reasons to whip out the rolling pin. Whether you’re a beginner baker or a seasoned chef, making something from scratch is rewarding every time. In a time where many people feel as if they can’t do anything to help with the state of the world, baking gives them a sense of accomplishment. A sourdough starter- the base dough- must be cared for (fed) daily. It takes time and patience but it’s worth the wait.
  2. You already have the ingredients.
    The combination of people buying more ingredients to bake bread at home and general panic buying has made yeast a commonly out of stock grocery store item. Therefore, sourdough has become the bread of choice, because it does not require yeast. You only need flour and water to make a sourdough starter. That’s it! It is recommended to use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour and water for the most accurate ratio. The fermentation of the water and flour creates naturally occurring wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria to make a starter. You will need to feed the starter daily. With each passing day you should notice the starter bubbling and giving off a more intense sour smell (hence the name sourdough) as a result of the wild yeast growing. It usually takes about five days for your starter to be ready to use in a recipe so be patient with “Bob”! Sourdough starter can be used to make breads, rolls, muffins, pancakes and more! Try these delicious Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes, starting on step 4.
  3. It has health benefits.
    Sourdough bread contains prebiotics, which feed healthy bacteria in the gut. A healthy digestive system helps protect against harmful bacteria, and may support a healthy immune system. The prebiotic content also makes it easier to digest. Due to lower phytate levels, you may absorb more minerals such as magnesium from sourdough bread when compared with other breads. This is because phytates are known to reduce your body’s ability to absorb minerals. Sourdough is also a good option for people with dietary restrictions. Those who are gluten sensitive may tolerate it due to lower gluten content. People with diabetes can also enjoy this carbohydrate (in moderation) without guilt as it has a lower glycemic index, which means it’s less likely to spike blood sugar.

Join in on this trend because it’s comforting, only requires two ingredients that you likely already have, and it’s a healthy choice! Don’t forget to share pictures of your sourdough starter and recipes on social media. Sharing pictures of your starter, especially if it doesn’t seem to be reacting the way it’s supposed to, could be helpful. Someone who is experienced at sourdough could help you troubleshoot to get your starter back on track and into a freshly baked loaf of bread in no time!

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Teaching people about the positive things that food can do for the mind, body and spirit, and helping them understand that all foods can fit into a healthy diet is Lisa’s nutrition philosophy. She believes food should be exciting and fun! Lisa encourages celebration of non-scale victories, which focus on what good nutrition can do for your life beyond weight. She loves food, but also loves to break a sweat whether it’s cycling, walking her dog or doing CrossFit.