Sourdough & Digestive Health




I regularly make Spelt Sourdough bread and have been aware of the basics of how and why sourdough is a beneficial for better absorption and digestive health. However as someone with a compromised digestive system, I would like to have a greater understanding of how the different methods affect the results and make sure my weekly loaf is the most digestible that it can be.


I usually make one spelt loaf a week with the following recipe:

(Total ingredients)

100% White Spet (600g)

60% Water (350g)

2 % Salt


Leaven is 25% of four:

150g white spelt

75g water (50%)

7.5g Sourdough Culture (5%)


As you can see I only use a very small amount of culture to make my leaven and leave this at room temperature for 18-24 hours.

(Loaf - Ferment 1.5-2 hours > Divide > Proof 1.5-2 hours)


I'm interested to know how this approach affects the levels of bacteria/fermentation versus yeast?

and how does this method (in regard to digestibility) compare with other methods such as dough back method (I think that is the terminology) which uses larger amounts of culture?


I think I read somewhere that a loaf should ferment/rise for a total of atleast 6 hours to achieve optimal digestion. However I am aware that Spelt flour can not tolerate as long a ferment/rise as other wheat. My recipe is 1.5-2 hours ferment, divide and rise for further 1.5-2 hours and says not to go over this time as it begins to degrade. Is this long enough to achieve optimal digestibility?

In other recipe books I notice longer ferment/rise times, but I'm not sure if this is due to differences in flour or method. 


Also does sourdough fermentation completely eliminate the need to soak/sprout grain (to remove anti-nutrients such as phytates) prior to making flour? Can I get additional benefit from doing both?


I'm sure there are other things I may have missed, so any information, advice etc welcome.

Look forward to hearing from you - Thanks!


211 users have voted.


foodsnob 2012 June 12

I don't know bugger all about making sourdough but sprouting grains increases their nutritional content significantly and for different reasons than the sourdough. I am pretty sure you would gain more health benefits from sprouting and then culturing with sourdough as opposed to just culturing or sprouting. The organic baker I buy most of my bread from says this is true as well.

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