Bread is not overly nutritious.

However eating bread is fine if you are struggling to get the calories you require and already eat a WFPB diet.

I don’t advocate for eating white bread because it is extremely refined and contains practically no vitamins, minerals or other nutrition that the body needs to survive and thrive. However, eating a moderate amount of whole grain breads— i.e. brown rice, whole-grain wheat, rye— is acceptable.

I don’t eat bread on a daily or weekly basis, but Rob does.

Two or three times a week Rob makes a loaf of bread. Because Rob consumes 3,000 calories per day and is already at an optimal weight, a few meals of bread will not cause any harm to his health or physique. The majority of our diet is minimally processed foods like fruit, whole grains, legumes and either frozen or fresh vegetables.

A meal of bread and jam will not cause any adverse effects to somebody who has a nutrient-dense, whole food, high-carb diet.

A kidney bean burger with homemade kefir bread

A kidney bean burger and spinach on Sourdough Kefir Bread

Of course if you can find whole foods to eat, the optimal thing for your health would be to eat those things.

The downside about bread is that bread is calorically dense without having many nutrients. Yet, the caloric density of the food and the cost are major reasons for making bread.

If you already eat a WFPB diet but feel that you aren’t getting the calories that you need, it is okay to add foods that are more calorically dense but minimally nutrient dense to your diet. Another type of food similar to bread (low- nutrients, high calories) is pasta.

Easy peasy

This Sourdough Kefir Bread is not fussy when it comes to making the recipe.

You don’t need to worry about having the yeast-to-sugar ratio, the temperature of any of the ingredients or time. There’s no need to knead the bread once you have prepared it either.

My Sourdough Kefir Bread is a lot easier to create than traditional breads that use yeast. The downside of this bread is that it does need some pre-planning.

In order to get the maximum amount of rise in the bread, the recipe should have at least 12 hours to fully rise; Rob usually allows his to rise for 24 hours. Breads with yeast only require around 8 hours to make.

Nonetheless, considering that this kefir bread recipe is a lot less labor-intensive, the trade-off should acceptable.

Taste

Lastly, I’d like to make a note about the taste.

If you are used to white sourdough, then the taste of this sourdough will be quite shocking for you. This bread is actually sour, like the name suggests.

The reason for the intense sour flavor is because we are using whole grains here, not refined grains. Eating the bread with jam should counteract some of the sour flavor. Just make sure that you use a quality jam that doesn’t contain too much added sugar.

Alternatively, mash up a banana or other fruit and use that as a topping. Other good spreads for this bread include avocado and nut/seed butters.

Sourdough Kefir Bread with banana

Sourdough Kefir Bread with a mashed banana

homemade sourdough kefir bred with jam

Homemade Sourdough Kefir Bread with jam

If you choose to use a cookie sheet like us instead of a bread pan (we simply just don’t have one in our apartment), you may have to get creative when you decide you want to cut and eat your bread. Without a bread pan to guide the rising process, the bread will mostly expand outwards instead of upwards. The most common shape that Rob makes his bread into is little biscotti-like strips.

Another option is to slice the bread lengthwise (like a huge bagel without the hole) and further cut it half-wise (to make a semicircle shape) and once more (to make a curved triangle shape). Rob used this last shape as a bun for our homemade Kidney Bean Burgers, as shown in the second picture.

Recipe:

While this recipe does take a long time from beginning to end, the simplicity of both the recipe and ingredients make up for it. The culture has just two ingredients and the bread itself only requires four.  You can choose to bake the bread between 12 and 48 hours after making the recipe, so there is no need to preoccupy yourself with allowing the bread to rise too much either.

Vegan and free of added oil, salt, soy, nuts and seeds

Reasons to love this recipe: flexible timing, few ingredients, low cost, diverse use

Yields one medium bread loaf

Ingredients:

Culture

Bread:

  • 200 g whole wheat flour (can me mixed with other types for a total of 200 grams, needs to be predominantly wheat)
  • 20 g sugar
  • 100 ml kefir water
  • 1/2 culture

Preparation:

Culture:

Mix the two ingredients together and let sit covered (a cheesecloth or a damp paper towel works best) at room temperature for at least a day, but two days is optimal

To replenish starter add 50 g of whole meal flour and 80 ml kefir water to the remaining culture after use.

Bread:

Mix together the flour, 1/2 the sourdough culture and sugar. Gradually add kefir water in 3 stages, mixing in between stages. After all kefir has been added, mix until it forms a dough. Knead the bread until the dough is no longer sticky, adding more whole meal flour as necessary. Shape the dough into a ball, pat the outside of the dough with more flour and place in a bread pan or on nonstick cookie sheet. Allow the bread to rise for at least 12 hours, preferably in a warm place such as an unheated oven. Bake at 180 C for 50 minutes after the dough has risen (after 12-48 hours).

  • 180 grams of wholemeal wheat flour

Note: You can see the color of the bread has changed dramatically after baking. Don’t worry, your bread isn’t burnt. Rob suspects the reason for the color change is the kefir and any excess sugar that wasn’t used by the kefir. Our bread can get quite dark, but as long as you don’t over-bake it, the bread won’t come out burnt.

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  • Updated last year
Sara Binde
 

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.