Flour. Water. Salt.
These are the only things added to make a true sourdough loaf but they certainly aren't the only things in it.
At Zymologists we also put in a great deal of time, effort, care and love into every loaf but the real magic is in the naturally occurring microorganisms that establish themselves within a sourdough starter.
carefully milled flour and warm water allow yeast and other probiotics to thrive, and with careful nurturing, they get to consuming the flour, making the bread rise and giving sourdough it's distinctive flavour.
One side effect of this feasting is carbon dioxide meaning that the bread rises without any other additives, giving it a wide, airy, moist, bubbly crumb. Another by-product is lactic acid, which gives the bread a slight tart or sour taste, and also helps keeps the bread fresh, again, without the need for any artificial preservatives.
A small amount of sea salt is added to give the bread strength and to improve the flavour.
By cultivating these tiny powerhouses, we are allowing them to pre-digest the complex sugars within the flour, breaking them down and making it much easier to access the all the nutrition within the freshly baked bread.
Many people with digestive issues associated with commercially bought and industrially manufactured bread report that they find sourdough bread is much better for them, as sourdough has less gluten and a lower glycaemic index than typical store-bought bread.
While to many the growth of sourdough may seem like a new fad, it is actually ancient. This is the way our ancestors first made bread, long before they understood the chemistry and biology of yeasts and when the tiny cultures must have given the rising bread a mythical quality.