Authentic sourdoughs like RedBeard’s are leavened (fermented) with a culture of natural wild yeasts and lactose bacteria - the way bread has been made for thousands of years. It’s delicious, nutritious and easy to digest. The ancient Egyptians discovered how to make bread rise using natural fermentation. Ever since, bakers have kept a brew of fermenting flour and water called a leaven, or baker’s ‘wort’.
The misleading term ‘sourdough’ was coined during the American goldrushes when miners carried their worts in warm saddlebags. The wort would give off a sour odour as it over-fermented in the heat. Good sourdoughs are never too sour.
RedBeard’s wort was created over three decades ago from wild yeast and lactose bacteria harvested from potato skins – a traditional Scottish technique. The yeast and bacteria produce bubbles of carbon dioxide that make dough rise.
Sourdoughs contain much less gluten than other breads. Doughs made from wheat, spelt and rye flours contain gluten. Most bread from supermarkets and chain bakeries is leavened with Baker’s Yeast – a single, virulent strain of yeast that makes bread rise quickly so most of the gluten remains in the bread, making it indigestible for some people. In contrast, traditional sourdough bread-making involves fermentation for many hours during which up to 90% of the gluten is broken down. In our experience, gluten-intolerant people (but not coeliacs) can enjoy RedBeard sourdough. Check out the science here.