Many sourdough purists, including myself are mortified when large retailers and large scale commercial bakeries describe their bread as sourdough to suit their own commercial gains. The benefits of sourdough bread has been know for hundreds of years to provide relief for people who find it difficult to digest bread made with yeast or other means. The enzymes and acids in the sourdough breaks down the complex compounds in the dough thereby making it easy to digest.
Today, many supermarkets are calling some of their breads sourdough when it is not, because once you introduce yeast or use a proofer to fast track the process of making the bread, you do not allow for enough time for the enzymes and acids to break down the complex compounds that exist within the dough. the average cost of a sourdough loaf is about £4 in the UK and $6 in the US, so when you go into the supermarket and it is ridiculously cheaper, you bet your bottom dollar it is not sourdough.
The reason why I love sourdough is because it is easier to digest and I don’t feel bloated when I eat it, and speaking to many people who prefer this type of bread they attest to this too. Another reason, it that the shelf life of sourdough is much longer than other forms of bread. I normally have mine on the worktop for up to 6 days without any mould. Making a sourdough loaf is far more accomplishing than a standard loaf, from start to finish it takes me almost 24 hours, so I tend to bake in large batches, around 4 to 6 at a time. Finally, the flavour is much more developed than that of an ordinary loaf and I have found it to be very popular with children and young people.
Finally, there is the discipline of feeding your sourdough culture regularly to make sure it does not die. I tend to keep mine in the fridge for most of the week and bring is out when I am about to bake. A sourdough loaf should be made of flour, water and salt and nothing else. It could be any type of flour, but that is it. ADDING YEAST TO A SOURDOUGH LOAF DOES NOT MAKE IT A SOURDOUGH LOAF.
In conclusion, I believe that it is high time that sourdough bread should gain a protected status because of what supermarkets and large scale commercial bakers are doing to describe sourdough bread, when it is not.