If there was ever a perfect time of year to embrace the art of ‘cosy’, September has to be it! With daylight hours and temperatures both on the downturn, there is no better compensation for the end of summer than the greater appreciation this transition period lends to our home comforts. It’s no coincidence that hot tea and a warm bed feel so much better when enjoyed as a contrast to the elements outside, and as we all start to forge ourselves some new habits for the season ahead....here’s putting breakfast in bed at the top of the priority list, for one morning of the week at least. It is owing to the restorative effect of simple and comforting pleasures, such as tea and toast in bed on a Sunday morning, that more and more of us are catching on to the Danish cultural idea of Hygge, which is defined as enjoying the simple things in life. Living the ‘snug life’, so to speak, and embracing all things comfortable and heart-warming, is recognised as an important cornerstone to health and wellbeing.
If the idea of finding comfort in cosy contentment resonates with you, then why not take the wellbeing aspect of breakfast in bed a step further this autumn by switching up your toast, and embracing sourdough September simulaneously? Sourdough is a unique bread in that, although often made from the same flour as other types of bread, involves a different fermentation process based on wild yeast (as opposed to commercial baker's yeast), mixed with lactic acid bacteria, flour and water - a combination called a "starter." The lactic acid bacteria in this mix helps lower the bread's pH, which in turn helps degrade something called phytic acid (phytates). This is important, in particular, because phytates are responsible for inhibiting the enzymes needed to break down proteins and starch, as well as for mineral absorption.
The result is a bread with a better overall nutrition profile, and which is less likely to cause digestive problems and blood sugar spikes, given that it’s lactic and acetic acids make the gluten more digestible, and also slow down the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream. Due to the fermentation process, sourdough bread also has prebiotic content and probiotic-like properties, not to mention a characteristic tang that makes the flavour superior to that of commercial bread. What’s important to note, however, if that not all store-bought sourdough breads are made using the traditional method, thereby reducing the health benefits. One way to increase the likelihood of buying ‘true’ sourdough bread is to source from an artisan baker, or a farmer's market. One good starting point if you’re seeking out the best in Sourdough is Gradz Bakers. Their loaves are made by Master bakers Agnes Gabriel and Romuald Damaz who specialise in the tradition of continental-style baking. Gradz have always been passionate about making healthy, delicious bread, which is reassuring when health and wellbeing are still as much at the heart of your interests as seizing an excuse for a lazy morning. For more information and stockists visit www.gradzbakery.co.uk
Sponsored by Gradz Bakery