Slow food is good food:-
One of the most amazing and transformative elements of making the best bread is time. This is added to the bread by the use of pre-ferments (mixtures of flour, water and yeast that have been allowed to develop) and slow processes of making bread, that allow nature to work its magic.
In a process dating back to Ancient Egypt or beyond, If flour is mixed with water and the correct conditions of temperature are created, over time fermentation will occur. Naturally occurring “wild” yeast contained within the flour, and to a lesser extent, in the atmosphere and bacteria, specific to the locality, interact with the food source (flour) and the positive growing conditions (moisture and warmth), to create the sourdough process. Over a period of at least 12 hours, flavour develops in the bread and it is leavened, resulting in a light and open texture when baked in the oven. In addition due to its mild acidity, the bread keeps fresh for longer.
In his book Bread Matters, Andrew Whitely describes how time and the use
of long fermentations not only results in stretchier and better-tasting
dough but also how the lactic acid bacteria so produced can improve the
nutritional quality of bread in the following ways:
“They lower post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in humans, thereby reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes.
They assisst in the formation of resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre.
They increase mineral bioavailability, partly by reducing phytic acid, which stops the body absorbing minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.
They neutralise the gliadin peptides in wheat flour, which are toxic to coeliacs.”