The Rise Of Sourdough

The Rise Of Sourdough


Bread has been a staple on the
human diet for thousands of years. But for the last few decades,
modern diets have villainized the baked good. And bread has been taking
a hit over the years. Total U.S. sales have been stagnant
since 2015, showing little to no growth leading up to 2020. And on average, Americans spent less money
on bread in 2017 than they did just four years earlier. Not to mention the fact that
some of the country’s biggest bread manufacturers are complaining about the rising
costs of key ingredients in an industry where small players battle
low margins and excess capacity. The bread business has to consolidate Sara
Lee and Wonderbread, two of the biggest names in bread. Both were bought out by publicly traded
flour foods in 2012 and 2013, respectively. And another big
problem for bread. It’s facing increased scrutiny for
some of its extra ingredients. Things like chemical dough conditioner’s,
preservatives, added sugar and GMO’s. Those additives helped manufacturers produce
a loaf in less time, prolong a shelf life and
keep the bread soft. But bread is making a comeback. Well, specifically, this preservative
free artisan, tangy flavored sourdough bread sourdough was made with
just two ingredients, whereas a loaf of Wonderbread has
over 20 ingredients. Another big difference sourdough can take up
to seven days to make from scratch versus just a few
hours to make commercial bread. There’s also a price difference. From 2015 to 2019. sourdough bread sales have
seen significant growth. Sourdough is also growing more popular at
restaurants in 2019, it was on 14.3 percent of restaurant
menus, up from 11.6 percent ten years earlier. Even DIYers
are getting in on the sourdough craze. Now sending days baking bread
is the cool thing to do. Instagram is full of DIY self-taught
bakers making their own sourdough. Even coders out in Silicon Valley
are blogging about the fermentation graphs of their sourdough starters. And perhaps most importantly, health
evangelists are praising the benefits of adding sourdough bread
into your diet. Between sourdough is almost cult like following
on social media and a more health focused consumer base looking for
better food options; s ourdough bread is more popular than ever. According to a survey, almost nine out
of 10 people know about sourdough and another seven out of
10 have tried it. In the U.S. alone, sourdough is
a multibillion dollar market between 2014 and 2018. Sourdough’s market value
in America jumped from 229.7 million dollars to 2.4 billion dollars. The question now? Is the sourdough market
destined to keep rising? Or is it just another
fad destined to fade away? Sourdough was made with just two
basic ingredients flour and water. You mix them together. Leave it at
room temperature over time and feed the same amount of flour and
water for a few days. That m ixture when exposed to the
elements eventually starts to bubble and that bubbling is actually a
chemical change called fermentation. What’s happening is that microbes
from the surrounding environment are essentially colonizing the dough t
hen growing and dividing. Basically turning it into a medley
of flour, water, bacteria and wild yeast, which is a
single celled fungi. The bubbling mixture is called a sourdough
starter, and you could think of it as a living thing. All that
bacteria is generating lactic acid and the yeast is actively feeding
off starches in flour. It pumps the resulting carbon dioxide
and ethanol into the dough. The carbon dioxide expands the gluten network
in the dough, while the acid in alcohol is what gives
sourdough its sour taste. It also digests this gluten network and
allows the enzymes present in the flour to do their job, like cutting
the starches into edible pieces of sugar for the yeast. Though sourdough, whose origin story has
been contested over the years, the first written record of sourdough
dates back around 4000 B.C. in ancient Egypt. The first written evidence on
sourdough is from the pyramids, and there are hieroglyphs showing people making
beer and bread in the same hieroglyphs. So this
is crossover fermentation. The sourdough starter was discovered when a
mixture of flour and water was exposed to the elements over time. The mixture began to bubble and rise,
a process we now know is called fermentation. Rather than throw out
the odd smelling and expanding mixture. The mystery cook
decided a baker anyway. The result? A large round, spongy loaf
of bread that we now call sourdough. Since ancient Egypt, this method
of bread making was passed down from civilization to civilization,
from ancient Rome to ancient Greece all the way to
the American Yukon gold rush. Using a sourdough starter was pretty much
the only way of making bread for thousands of years. But things started to change for sourdough
during the later half of the 19th century. Now, as the population kind
of changed and we went towards cities, we always had to feed a
population on an industrialized scale, so we had the creation of
an industrialized bread system. It wasn’t until the mid 19th century
that scientists caught on to the microbiology behind what
makes bread rise. Once they knew about wild yeast and how
it works, a race set off to figure out how to make it
available to the masses. Brothers Charles and Maximilian Fleischmann were
one of the first to bring commercial use to the market on a
large scale when they unveiled their product to 10 million people at
the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. The only problem it was perishable and would
go bad after two weeks in the fridge. It wasn’t until World War II
that the bread business was totally revolutionized. As the wall came
in, we readily the American side. They contacted the Fleischmann brothers,
who were the people who originally discovered that you could
turn yeast into a tablet. And in the 1940s, the push
was produced fast bread for soldiers. The Fleischmann Company improved
on its original yeast product by creating the first
ever active dry yeast. It didn’t require refrigeration and could
be easily activated with warm water. Fleischman’s active dry yeast was
a game changer to the commercial bread business as well. After the war ended, active drug use
was brought to the retail market and the mass production of bread in the US
took off, which was bad news for the slow-bake sourdough bread. Out went the use of sourdough starters in
came in what we see today, large commercial bakeries filling grocery stores
with ready made pre sliced bread wrapped in cellophane that
could last for weeks. By 1944, 85 percent of the bread that
was made in the United States came from large commercial bakeries, according to
a survey conducted at that time. From the 1950s up through
today, bread companies have continued to add extra ingredients to its products in
order to make bread faster than ever and to prolong its shelf life. But the same chemical additives
that helped industrialize spread quickly and cheaply brought on a laundry
list of health concerns for shoppers. Well, why not post World War II
anymore, We’re in a very, very different situation. And so this very fast
plastic kind of bread, which was really, I guess done out
to the well-meaning sort of aim, is actually causing issues across the
globe with people’s health, wellness, blood sugar management, calorific management
and the amount of nutrition they get from
their base food. 2000 was the year of peak
grain when the average American 137.6 pounds of grain in a year, mostly in
the form of breads and other baked goods. According to the USDA, per
capita consumption of flour was 146 pounds per person in 2000. In 2018, it had fallen to 132 pounds. It’s all been downhill from there. The timing dovetails with the rise of low
fat and low carb diets in the 90s and early 2000s. This decline has also come as more
and more Americans are diagnosed with an allergy to gluten. Remember gluten? It’s the protein that plays
a key role in helping dough to rise. The number of Americans
following the gluten free diet triple from 2013 to 2018, according to
Sundale Research and gluten free products appear to be virtually everywhere. Nearly 30 percent consumers are now
buying foods with gluten free labels, and sales of gluten free foods reach
17 billion dollars in 2018, more than double the amount spent in 2011. All this may seem like a
doomsday scenario for sourdough bread, but sourdough is actually proving to be one
option for bread lovers who want to eat the real thing without facing
nearly as many side effects as its commercial bread rivals. So why is that? sourdough is
typically more nutritious than regular bread. It’s easier to digest and is a
potential better option for blood sugar control. The reason it all comes down
to the active drugs versus sourdough starter. What makes the sourdough starter
so special are all the micro-organisms derived from
the fermentation process. Commercial bread misses out on that. It uses an active dry yeast
which simulates the chemical process that makes bread rise. However, it lacks
the naturally occurring fungi and bacteria that sourdough bread has. Here’s why that matters. Sourdough slow
fermentation process makes a lot easier for our bodies
to absorb important nutrients. All of those micro-organisms and
sourdough also promote gut metabolic health. Sourdough also doesn’t lead to
blood sugar spikes and crashes. It actually slows down the speed at
which glucose is released into the bloodstream, which is a great thing for
diabetics who have to watch their insulin levels. Sourdough has another
big thing going for it. Store-bought bread has been put under
intense scrutiny for the extra ingredients manufacturers add in order
to extend shelf life. These include everything from extra
gluten, fat, reducing agents, emulsifiers enzymes
and preservatives. Some U.S. commercial breads, along with a
lot of other foods found in grocery stores, were slammed for using
the same chemical ingredient found in yoga mats. When I first
discovered making sourdough bread, I realized even the best bread I was
giving my family wasn’t real bread. It had 38 ingredients in it and
should just be flour, water, salt and yeast. And I make a lot of it
and we eat a lot of it. And we’re not getting fat from it
and we’re not getting sick from it. And my friends that have thought they
had gluten issues had no problem with it. And it wasn’t that it was
gluten, it was that we were eating chemicals and fake processed food. Sourdough’s surge in popularity isn’t
just linked to health conscious consumers. It’s actually developed a cult
like following on social media and has drawn attention from a
new wave of DIY bakers. In 2019, one of the founders
of Microsoft’s Xbox, Seamus Blackley, resurrected a sourdough starter dating back
over 4000 years to ancient Egypt. Blackley used dormant yeast
and bacteria from ancient Egyptian pots. He mixed those samples with
the sourdough starter he made, creating this sourdough loaf with its origins
dating back to ancient Egypt. Blackley isn’t alone in his affinity
for delving into the science behind sourdough. Silicon Valley coders are
charting out their fermentation of their starter cultures to try to understand
the inner workings of all of its microbes. Since sourdough starters
all contain living microorganisms, it requires constant attention,
like all living things. If a startup is probably taking care of
it can last for years, decades and sometimes generations. N one of us has something that is
old, you know, if you have something that’s a hundred years old, it’s
almost certainly an heirloom that was given to you. It’s a set of
earrings that came from your great grandmother or some vase that came from the old
country but it’s not something alive . Imagine having something alive that’s
a hundred years old. So the stories that come with
starters, I think are valuable. I think part of
recapturing of culture. Maintaining your own sourdough starter
isn’t an easy business. It requires constant feeding to ensure that
the same starter can be used over and over again. Feeding
a starter looks like this. It’s just simply adding a little bit
of flour and water to the mixture. And over time, it becomes like taking
care of a new family pet. There’s a whole schedule. It’s like a pet. It’s like, you know,
you don’t just get a goldfish and then leave town for three months. It’s like you need
to feed this thing. Like this is this is mine right here. And this is one of two. And when I take off, I’m
you know, I’m a comedian. When I’m on the road, I’m constantly
thinking, like, who’s going to feed it? That’s where unique sourdough
business like Matias Jakobsen’s comes into play. Jakobsen has been baking
sourdough for nearly eight years, and for five years Jakobsen has been
operating The Sourdough Inn in Brooklyn. He takes care of people starters
while they’re on vacation, feeding them with flour and water a
few times a week. The questions I ask as part of the
check-in process, like I want to know how how they currently feed it. And, you know, just so I understand
what they’re trying to do with it. So they told me like they would prefer
to just feed it, you know, around every five days and generally
keep it in the fridge. And this one is a very, very low
maintenance in terms of what it means generally that the sourdoughs have had had
not been any kind of peculiar requests. And then other than that, I
think it’s like meeting as people that are passionate about something. So I always ask about people, you
know, how they started making sourdough and why. According to his website, Jakobsen
charges $15 per week for hotel services and also runs a training
and rehabilitation service that revives a starter for about $60 per session. The idea for sourdough Hotel in
Brooklyn actually originated from a sourdough hotel that
started in Sweden. There is a sourdough hotel in
Stockholm and Scandinavia has a generally advanced bread culture. So in Stockholm, obviously there was
this sourdough Hotel and they were teasing and well, because you bake bread Matias,
you need to be the one to start a Brooklyn sourdough hotel. You really you really need
to do that in Sweden. Some bakers could bring
their starters to R.C. Chocolat. It’s a bakery based in
Stockholm that charges their guests 100 Swedish krona or roughly $10 per week
for each of their starters as of February 19th 2020. And about a 1,000 miles southwest of
Stockholm, there is another place for several starters are looked after
and handled with extreme care. And it’s in the world’s
only sourdough starter library. The collection last week was 115. But now we have up to 125. So I will. So these are the fridges and they
are filled w ith the different s ourdoughs. This is Karl De Smedt . He’s the head baker of Puratos and
he runs the first and only sourdough starter library. And then here
we have number 43, which was actually my very first sour
do I saw in my life. Back in 2013, the company Puratos
launch its sourdough Library in Saint Vith, Belgium. The library develops,
researches and preserves the biodiversity of different sourdough
starters for the future. And while they’re just 125 starters in
the library’s walls, there are over 1,600 starters registered in the company’s
digital library from all around the world. Each new starter that arrives to
the library is sent to a lab for analysis, a process that can cost
anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 dollars to analyze a single starter. So every sourdough that we get into
the library is sent to a university with whom we work together. That can be in Italy
and France and Spain. And there the sourdough is actually placed
on petri dishes and then they grow the cultures. And as such, it takes about three
months, forty five working days on average. You can select the different
colonies on these petri dishes and grow and grow and grow them further. Then we we are actually taking
all these different microorganisms and we have these little test tubes where we
sort of isolated strain is put in there and that can be a
yeast or lactic acid bacteria. And as such, the sourdough strains
are preserved for the future. In the library, there are some
starters that date back centuries. The baker who gave me it is said that
it must be from 1886, more or less. Then we have this one,
which is number one hundred. That’s a sourdough that we have from
a bakery in the centre of Tokyo. And that was a sourdough that
has been developed by Mr. Kimura, and he was one of the
last samurai, and he converted himself into a baker, and one of his friends was
making saké based on rice, and so he converted his sourdough into rice. And so this is now the only rice
sourdough we have in the library and it dates back to 1875. And then this one is
from Ioane Christensen in Whitehall’s. And she was the first mayor
of Whitehall’s and senator of Yukon. And this sourdough dates back to
1896 when her great grandfather was participating in the
Klondike Goldrush. So why spend thousands just to
analyze starters several decades old, Karl says the research that they’re providing
actually helps the bakers of today and the future. Through DNA analysis, t
hey are identified. And as such, we have discovered now
more than 900, 950 different strains already from two from six genus of
yeast and six genus of lactic acid bacteria. Since its discovery, sourdough
has been a key fixture across different cultures and
countries around the world. Bread has been a staple food for the
last 5000 years and it will probably be the staple food for the next
5000 years, maybe more, because it is a fantastic product that can be set
in the middle of the table and unite all the good things. Sourdough has survived the invention of
commercial, active, dry east, no carb diets, and some analysts say sourdough
has a lot more room for growth. But with the rise of sourdough,
so too comes the rise of “sourfaux” bread. Sourfaux is a term used for retail
bread that claims to be traditional sourdough, but in fact sourfaux has
the same commercial use additives and flavoring as a cellphone
wrapped in retail bread. As impostors flood the market, some worry
it would be bad for sourdough street cred as a locally produced
artisanal premium product offering a healthy alternative to
commercial rivals. But sourdough experts like Tom
Papa aren’t too worried. The reason why we’re the first generation
that has all of these issues, we’re heavier than ever before. We’re being told that
you can’t eat bread. You’re being told that all
this stuff makes you sick. It’s not the case. The cases that four in my lifetime we’ve
been eating a lot of things that we’re not food. They
were food adjacent. So I really think that processes
like this, like making sourdough bread and making things, making real food is
just going to get bigger and stronger.

100 thoughts to “The Rise Of Sourdough”

  1. Cool video, but I'm not a fan of the misleading graphs. Especially the one at 7:43
    The drop from 146 to 132 is relatively small, but the graph makes it seem like it fell by a factor of 5.
    That's not the only poorly made graph, just the most egregious
    Otherwise the content is well made!

  2. In India every kid is taught that whole wheat flour that makes the Indian bread called chapati is healthy and white flour(called maida) bread is unhealthy.In Western parts of India Christian's who follow the western tradition of eating bread and Pao instead of chapati are in local slang referred to as pao wallas!!

  3. Since 1849 Boudin Sourdough Bread has been baked in San Francisco CA, using only flour, water, the original mother starter, and often salt. It's said that the Boudin bakery rescued their mother starter when the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed not only the bakery but most of San Francisco too. From 1849 to 1898 and continuing on up to today, 3 other Sourdough Bakeries, Parisian in S.F, Columbo and Toscano in Oakland, still use only the original 3 – 4 ingredients.
    Then starting in the late 1980s, the east side of the San Fran Bay Area became a hotbed of 4 ingredient, sourdough bread bakeries including Semifreddi's, ACME Bread, The Cheese Board, Arizmendi, Tartine, La Farine, and now, many others. In the S.F. Bay Area, bread has always been, and always will be really good because its the real thing.

  4. I don't know if you have been told thus before (in 550 previous messages) but, the Yukon Gold Rush occurred in Canada, not America. Please edit your video.

  5. We have manufactured and neutralised any diversity in our agricultural environment and cycles. Eg only pushing yield and extended season instead of flavour. No wonder the biodiversity in sourdough is so attractive. It's good for gut health and it actually tastes of something.

  6. Someone gave me a herman the german sourdough……. but unfortunatley i killed him on my journey home….he tried to escape from my car and ended up spreading himself all over the boot (trunk) of my car! needless to say as a adult i dont have any kids!

  7. Yet all the sourdough I’ve found in this town is fake! It’s regular bread with suitable acids added to make it sour, and that’s true even at the local artisan bakery. It’s just cheaper and easier and nobody here wants to spend the extra time making it…

  8. So, a single country decides to pervert manufacture of bread and to use chemicals instead of flour and yeast like the rest of the world ist doing? And then, after several years they are all ill and fat and then they discover a wonderfull thing. You can make bread like the rest of the world still does and get healthy from it. What a smart country.

  9. Seems like they are running out of companies to talk about, having to resort to a type of bread that is made by tens of thousands of different businesses and individuals.

  10. In India, we use the same technique to make dosas and idlis (rice flour), but there is no need to keep a separate starter. We ferment every batter batch and leave them overnight to rise. I never realized how fascinating this history of wild yeast was!

  11. The US starting to realize that what they have been tricked into thinking was bread is not considered bread, nor even recognized as edible in most parts of the world.

  12. People like healthier foods. People actually read the ingredients. I’m happy people are becoming smarter about their food by eating unprocessed foods.

  13. There is now sourdough pasta. good for those who cannot digest regular wheat pastas. We eat it at home and love it! www.pastafermentata.com

  14. My mom recently gave me her old bread maker and it’s amazing! I don’t gave as much time so it’s been really useful, healthy and cheaper😊

  15. Interesting! On a whim, I decided to try my hand at sourdough baking about a year ago. After two failed starts, I successfully created my starter, Birtha (so named because she gives birth to loaves of bread and to other starters for friends…yes, sourdough people love plays on words). Birtha will celebrate her first birthday next month. The dough for a loaf is currently doing a slow fermentation in the fridge and will be baked tomorrow. All is good.

  16. Before commercially available cooking yeast there were only 2 ways to make bread. Either flatbreads without any fermentation or sourdough breads with naturally found and cultivated starters. Every civilization that had grain had sourdough breads of some kind, the Egyptians were just the first to record their process. Sourdough is culturally prominent in cold and dry regions like Europe, Russia, North America and Central Asia because conditions are optimal to preserve and store leavened bread in such environments for longer durations. In hot and dry or humid places we prefer to eat freshly made flatbreads but also indulge in Sour Dough.

  17. Amazing, the first written record of sourdough pre-dates the first written records of, literally, anything by at least 600 years, and 2,000km away from where the first writing was recorded. And about 1500 years before there were any pyramids in Egypt. Glad to see the research dept. is working overtime.

  18. What the f*** is wrong with our generation…
    'Sourdough Inn' seriously…
    whats next 'Sourdough support group'…. "My dough hasnt been eating well lately. I tried feeding it, but it just bubbles once instead of twice…"

    My grandma has been eating the same industry manufactured bread for 86 yrs now and she aint quitting anytime soon. She will dance on the grave on each of the 'sourdough' hugging moth*rfuc***s!

  19. Tom papa has a lot of highly subjective and baseless value statements to make about the "validity" of food he doesnt find up to his personal tastes

  20. So this day has finally come. Been baking sourdough bread for years now and hoping that one day it will gain the recognition it deserves. I'm moved by this video. Thank you CBS

  21. So this mass-produced commercial bread we've been purchasing from the supermarket all our lives is just "Processed American Bread Product", the Velveeta of bread?

  22. I want to know why CNBC worded that bread sales have been stagnant in such a negative way. Why would people all of the sudden start buying an extra loaf of bread? Just cuz?

  23. Dont worry ATKINS is scheduled to return next year and will punch down this silly little fad and 2022 is going to be raw waters turn again and then it's back to paleo and then gluten free gets a turn.

  24. Sour dough now cures cancer and will even shrink the sores on your lips from the herpes and will cause you to loose weight and does wonders for alzheimers, no really. Wait till that hack Dr Oz finds this video, hell hes probably investing in bakerys as we speak he knows how to separate a fool and his money.

  25. I'm an engineer, so when they said "the starter needs to be taken care like a pet" I immediately think in a machine, but when they talked about the inn, I thought that is better because it foster social relationships in the community, strengthening the social fabric.

  26. Hey look everyone, I discovered a new hot diet bread…… no no no of course no silly ancient people from 4000 years ago had this…… this is a new thing….. spend your money folks on this new fancy diet bread……….

  27. Want fewer chemicals in your recipes for homemade baked goods? Stop using all bleached flour. Use only unbleached products. Bleached flour has many if not all nutrients removed. Chemicals replace them.

  28. There's a restaurant called Boudin and their is about sourdough like breaded soup bowls, croutons, bakery, and u can even buy a loaf of sourdough bread

  29. I didnt realize there was a fad going on with sourdough lol. I just started baking in general in early 2019 so I looked at bread first and decided to do sourdough. I like it. <3

  30. The health benefits of wholegrain or sourdough breads are vastly vastly exaggerated, to get any tangible benefit from them you'd have to be eating so much bread daily it would make you sick. Similarly, the health problems caused by white bread have also been vastly exaggerated, yeah if you're buying the cheapest nastiest white bread it's no doubt going to reflect that in the nutrition, but most white breads are enriched in fiber and other nutrients that give them nutrition profiles virtually identical to the 'more healthy' options. Fundamentally, white bread tastes great, it's a bread that has been designed to give us qualities that have great mouth appeal, while Sourdough is okay but only has situational appeal.

  31. Up next on Old Thing Good and New Thing Bad, we talk to a farmer that is growing Bananas that haven't been domesticated. Mmmmm, can you taste all those seeds?

  32. 1:34 That graph is misleading – the y-axis starts at 10 percent and ends at 14 percent.
    1:29 Same goes for that one – the y-axis starts at 250 million dollars in sales
    0:26 Yet again. the y- axis starts at 70 dollars.

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