Is sourdough bread vegan friendly? Sourdough bread is vegan friendly for most vegans. Homemade Sourdough bread recipes are a great addition to many vegan menus.
What is Vegan? This is a great article that summarizes veganism and the vegan diet by WebMD.
To quickly summarize what defines the vegan diet.
Vegans restricts ALL products used or derived from animals. Sourdough breads often use only flour water and salt along with wild yeast organisms captured in the air of your kitchen.
Sourdough recipes can be a great fit for vegans.
Depending on how strictly vegan you are. Yeast can be a problem for extremely strict vegans.
Here’s why some bakers wonder is sourdough bread vegan friendly? Yeast is captured, grown in a culture and eventually killed through the baking process to make sourdough.
All sourdough starters use the local wild yeasts they attract through the starter process. And/or commercial yeasts.
Using yeast fungus organisms in baking are not a problem for most vegans. Yeasts are not animals since yeast does not have a nervous system. Yeast fungus is not capable of registering pain so it is not cruel to use it.
If you are a vegan bread baker, and have made your peace with the animal world at the organism level and decide to use wild yeast, homemade sourdough recipes will be a wonderful addition to your diet..
Is Sourdough Starter Vegan?
Vegans can eat sourdough bread and never ingest a shred of animal products. As longs you are comfortable with wild yeast organisms culturing in your bread.
If your starter ingredients are only flour and water, you are using a vegan starter. At least for most vegans.
Wild yeast is attracted to room temperature flour and water mixed and allowed to stand open to the air. Through a process of fermentation the sourdough culture is born and strengthened. It puffs up as it grows and digests the flour and water that feed it.
When you add sourdough starter to your bread making ingredients it begins the process again of digestion and fermentation. This is how your sourdough bread dough rises.
When you put the bread dough in the oven to bake, the yeasts warm and grow very fast giving the bread rise.
When the oven temperature rises to baking temperatures. The internal temperature of the dough gets so hot it kills the yeasts. This is when the bread stops rising and finishes the bake.
Sourdough starter is at the base of all sourdough recipes. For most vegans, sourdough culture is considered vegan if it uses only flour and water and yeast.
Some bakers add other ingredients into their starter. You would need to vet these starter recipes and make sure no higher order animal products are involved.
To make a vegan sourdough starter, follow our post on how to make a Sourdough starter. It uses only flour, water and the local yeasts attracted to it.
And time, lots of Time. 🙂
When Is Sourdough Bread is Vegan friendly?
Some sourdough bread recipes include animal products. Milk, butter and honey come to mind. These ingredients will bother most vegans.
With that said, We do have sourdough recipes that are vegan friendly. And some you will need to avoid, or use substitutions to make them qualify as vegan.
If you want to be absolutely sure you are getting a vegan sourdough product, bake your own sourdough bread products. This will ensure you have the purest vegan ingredients.
Homemade Sourdough breads taste way better than store bought anyway and are simple to make. It just takes some time.
Our Artisan Sourdough Bread Recipe uses ONLY sourdough culture, flour, water and salt.
Sourdough Bread Vegan Substitutions:
You can make most sourdough recipes on this blog vegan friendly with a few simple substitutions.
Honey and dairy milk do have a lot of carbohydrates that the sourdough starter digests. This helps bread rise and adds a softer texture and richer flavor to the crumb.
Our Milk and Honey sourdough sandwich bread and our Soft Sourdough Sandwich bread Recipe and soft sourdough pretzel recipe use animal derived products like milk, butter and honey.
Our sourdough bagels use maple syrup. You will find other sourdough recipes on this blog that use animal products as well.
Here are some ideas on how to make our sourdough recipes vegan friendly. They are simple to convert.
Vegan friendly ingredients Substitutes:
- Agave nectar can be used interchangeably with honey and maple syrup for a vegan friendly sweetener.
- Maple syrup MIGHT be vegan friendly. Again strict vegans need to know the brand they choose and the defoamers it uses. Maple syrup can be vegan depending on how it produced.
- Non dairy nut milks are good substitutes for dairy milk. However, They won’t add the richness of a full fat dairy milk so you may miss some flavor and softness in the crumb.
- Vegan oils such as coconut oil and avocado oil are good substitutions for butter.
Is Sourdough Bread Vegan Friendly? Try these Sourdough Recipes:
Here are a few of our Homemade Food Junkie bread recipes vegans will enjoy. The cranberry walnut bread uses honey. but that is easily replaced with agave nectar.
Is sourdough bread vegan friendly? For most vegans, yes it is. We suggest you make your own sourdough starter from scratch and bake homemade sourdough recipes to ensure you have vegan sourdough breads and recipes.
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