In Defense of Sourdough Bread

November 17, 2023
Lily Weinstock

Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

Class of 2024

Read more from this author →

Sandwiches. Toast. Egg in the middle. Bread is a staple of our society, and there is a century long battle we need to address.

There are over 100 types of bread worldwide. A Washington Post article from 2020 attempts to rank the top ten. Now, I understand that taste is subjective. With that being said, here’s what they said. 

  1. French Baguette
  2. Corn Tortilla
  3. Injera
  4. Bagel
  5. Bao

And coming in at NUMBER 6. It is sourdough bread. 

This is a disservice, a dishonor, and a horror. 

This is my defense of sourdough bread. 

The Basics

What is sourdough bread, and why does it taste so good?

For one, sourdough uses a different type of yeast than most other breads. Most on this earth use commercially active yeast, but this bread relies on a starter, which is a mixture of equal parts flour and water. This starter is then let to sit for multiple days and is fed more water and flour in the process. While this is all happening, wild yeast and bacteria invade the starter. The bacteria eat the flour, which creates a more acidic space, which allows the yeast to produce carbon dioxide, which creates airy bubbles in the bread. In essence, sourdough bread is a whole lot of chemistry. And I hated my sophomore chemistry class, so here's a super cool video you can check out to learn more about the process! 

Overall, it's apparent. Sourdough bread is ultimately way cooler than any other bread. It's different. It's unique. It takes love and care to make. And that's just the beginning

The Uses

Sourdough bread has so many uses, and ultimately, it makes any dish involving bread a thousand times better. Its acidic nature, mixed with the dominant bacteria Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis in its creation, creates that distinct sourdough taste. But let's talk about its high points. 

  1. Bread bowls. Need I say less? If you’ve never been to San Francisco and gotten yourself a bread bowl, you need to book a flight right now. It pairs perfectly with any given soup, and honestly, it's fun.
  2. Sandwiches. Elevate your everyday grilled cheese with the extra kick of some sourdough bread. 
  3. Toast. Have you ever even tried avocado toast made with sourdough bread? 
  4. Breadcrumbs. Make any pasta dish a flavor journey by adding just a dash of sourdough.

There are so many basic dishes that you can greatly advance just by using a far superior type of bread. 

If you want more ideas on what you can make, check out this website!

The Benefits 

There are numerous health benefits from just this one simple type of bread. Who knew you could eat something delicious and keep your body happy, too?

  1. Lowering blood sugar- the glycemic index of sourdough is far lower than many other types, meaning that the bacteria in the bread itself is processed differently than normal yeast in bread. This means that the sugar is absorbed slower into the body, which helps you not have a sugar spike after eating your favorite sandwich!
  2. Sourdough is easier to digest- It has been shown to be a prebiotic due to the bacteria found in it, and it has a lower amount of gluten. This means that people who are gluten intolerant are likely able to eat this delicious treat, too!
  3. Possibility of higher nutrients- Depending on the type of flour you use in a traditional bread, there may be phytic acid, which means that it binds important minerals and nutrients needed for your body. However, the bacteria in sourdough is able to break apart the phytic acid, meaning that these nutrients are more easily accessible to you!

It's just really, really good. 

Need I say more? Sourdough is incredible. 

I’m hoping that from this article, you can take away the correct opinion of the best bread choice. Sourdough has numerous health benefits, can make any dish elevated, and just has way cooler chemistry behind it. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and throw out that whole wheat bread of yours. It's time to start making that starter.

Lily is a BBG from Arizona and she can make the Perry the Platypus noise!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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