The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread Even If You Are Gluten Intolerant

bpezzell's picture

Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread Even If You Are Gluten Intolerant

A friend forwarded this article to me a few days ago. Thought I'd see what the rest of you thought of the piece. It's a quick read.

sam's picture

A friend of mine sent me a review of this baker a few weeks ago also.  But this article says the baker slow ferments for up to a month?   Is that for real?   I have never heard of that before, but then I'm a relative newbie at this.

I am too impatient to wait that long for bread.  :)    Maybe next time I am in Los Angeles I'll try to make a stop to try it.

 Edit:  I would guess that an attempt to ferment a sourdough for a month, even if held very cold, just above freezing, would end up very, very sour.   But I could be wrong..

bpezzell's picture

I'm guessing he's doing some long, cold soakers and has plenty of refrigeration. I'd think that the bacterial action of a leavened dough would turn that dough to sticky goo in short order, in light of my personal experience with refrigerated doughs and stiff leavens.

sam's picture

Hi bpezzell,

I was also thinking the same thing, maybe a multi-week or month-long soaker...    but the article seemed to be geared toward degrading much of the gluten...  I'm not sure a normal soaker degrades gluten.   A levain, yes, due to the acidity, but a soaker?     In one of my mash books, it says that amylase enzymes don't ever "die / denature", unless you heat them too much, so they in theory in a soaker, they will keep on splitting up the starches in a soaker as long as there's starch to split.   I'm not sure if there are other factors in a soaker that would cause gluten to break down.

I would expect a very long soaker would eventually turn into a sugary mush, but I've never tried it that long...

A couple of times, however, I have done warm soakers 'too long', and ended up spoiled rotten.  Heh.   :)  As a result, I am a bit nervous about soakers going on for too long.   Even a cold soaker for a month...   hmmm...

Interesting though.   Thanks for posting.



Chuck's picture

This unfortunately doesn't sound to me like a technique us Joe-sixpacs can use at home yet; having somebody else demonstrate a solution is a good start, but until anybody can do it 100% of the time, it isn't really a complete solution yet. I was quite intrigued until I got to the part about two seemingly identical breads from the same ingredients and kitchen, yet while one was okay to eat the other caused a reaction, and the difference turned out to be nothing more than amount of kneading. So when I'm baking up a batch, how can I tell if I've "kneaded enough" yet? "Bake it and eat it and see if you get sick" just doesn't cut it for me...

bpezzell's picture

I bake professionally, yet my wife is gluten intolerant. The idea of feeding her something that would make her sick for two weeks isn't appealing. I'd love detail on his methodology.

salix's picture

I must be confused, can sourdough bread be considered a good source of probiotics?  I would think the organisms would be toast (sorry about that!) after baking.  

Prebiotic, maybe.

JonnyP's picture

The link in the original post above encourages gross misunderstandings of both science and medicine.


MikeJ's picture

For instance:

Wild yeast multiplies aerobically. This is because they have oxygen in them (not free radical oxygen ions) that feed your blood cells and not cancer cells. Most plant proteins including grains, seeds, cereals, beans, nuts, and some grasses form gluten. However, sourdough microflora has all the amino acids available, without the protein that forms gluten.

This is simply not true. None of it. Sourdough yeast do not use aerobic respiration to get their energy, they use fermentation (that's what produces CO2 and ethanol). Even if they did use aerobic respiration, this would have nothing to do with oxygenating your blood. Nor would it have any effect on free radicals in your body.

I'm baffled by the last part about gluten. It's true that yeast and bacteria don't contain gluten, but why is this relevant? The gluten in bread comes from the flour, not  microorganisms.

subfuscpersona's picture

I don't know if it's the baker or the author who's responsible, but many of the statements in this article are hardly good science.

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I'm sorry, I'm calling snake-oil here.

There is NO WAY this man owns the Golden Ticket and doesn't cash it in with a book or a franchise. Proof? He's both aggresive and protective of his business. A book that contains the key to all the benefits listed would put millions in his pocket INSTANTLY, but he trudges out to the Farmer's Market three times a week. But wait, he's not gonna teach this in a class, because someone might come out to a FM and setup right next to him.

Jack's a charismatic guy for sure. He seems to have everything necessary to get people hooked on his 'flow', and then wallets loosen up. I'm sure the bread does indeed taste great - most of us here love a properly fermented sourdough, but really... a month long fermentation process that is super-secret, and has health benefits above and beyond normal sourdoughs? hehehe... ; D Jack for pres in 2012!!

- Keith

picosinge's picture

The arthur obviously have no knowledge of biochemistry - probiotics and enzymes are denatured during the baking process.  The slow fermenting process may produce better tasting sourdough, but will not increase the amout of probiotics when the bread is eaten. 

As to creating an "acidic" environment, the pH of stomach acid is 1-2, I have yet to find any bread that is sourer than that!

The article is downright irresponsible as it could mislead people who have serious gluten intolerance into thinking it is safe to eat sourdough.