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Sourdough vs. White Bread: 6 Key Differences and How to Best Serve Them

Sourdough vs White Bread

Sourdough vs. White Bread: 6 Key Differences and How to Best Serve Them

Sourdough bread has a distinctive tangy flavor and a thicker, chewier texture while white bread is much lighter and softer, sometimes even delivering a mildly sweet flavor. Discover the six key differences between sourdough vs. white bread, including which option may be best for those of you looking for a healthier bread to enjoy. Plus, learn how to make each of these bread options shine as the main ingredient in breakfast dishes!

Sourdough vs. White Bread: 6 Key Differences

Sourdough BreadWhite Bread
IngredientsFlour, salt, and waterFlour, salt, yeast, water, and sometimes sugar
TextureThick and chewyLight and soft
Leavening AgentSourdough starterCommercial yeast
Nutritional Value110 calories per slice70 calories per slice
FlavorComplex and acidicNeutral, sometimes mildly sweet
DigestibilityGreater digestibility due to the breakdown of gluten and the presence of beneficial bacteriaHigher gluten content and lacking beneficial bacteria, which may be harder for some to digest
Bread, traditional sourdough bread cut into slices on a rustic wooden background. Concept of traditional leavened bread baking methods. Healthy food.
Sourdough bread has a longer fermentation process than white bread and is much different in texture and flavor, despite both types of breads having similar ingredients.

©Bukhta Yurii/Shutterstock.com

Sourdough vs. White Bread: Ingredients

Sourdough bread has a rather simple ingredient list, including only flour, salt, and water. Depending on the recipe, there may be an additional ingredient like yogurt, but these three main ingredients are typically all that’s required. For white bread, the ingredients list is similar. You also need flour, salt, and water. However, when making white bread, you need yeast and depending on the recipe, a little bit of sugar.

Sourdough vs. White Bread: Texture

The texture of sourdough bread is a lot thicker and chewier than white bread. Not only is the texture chewier but you can also expect a thick, crunchy crust, whether you toast it or eat it as is. With white bread, you can expect a significantly softer and thinner crust. The texture of the bread is lighter and airy. The difference in texture is due to fermentation. With sourdough bread, there’s a longer fermentation process than there is with white bread. Additionally, you incorporate a natural leavening agent whereas with white bread, commercial yeast is suitable.

Sourdough vs. White Bread: Leavening Agent

Although the ingredients for sourdough bread are simple, you first need to create a sourdough starter, which is the leavening agent that allows your sourdough bread to rise. Sourdough starter is made using flour and water. This simple mixture allows for fermentation. With white bread, it’s a little bit different because you’re not creating your own leavening agent. Typically, you can just use commercial yeast, which means there is a shorter fermentation period (and a faster rise).

Sourdough vs. White Bread: Nutritional Value

Sourdough vs White Bread Nutritional Facts

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Sourdough bread has 110 calories per slice, 4 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0.5 grams of fat, and offers 6% DV of iron. The exact calories and nutritional facts depend on how thick your slices are, so keep that in mind. With white bread, one slice typically has 70 calories, 2 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat, and 1% DV of iron.

Sourdough vs. White Bread: Flavor

When it comes to flavor, sourdough bread is going to be much more distinctive than white bread. The flavor is significantly more complex and has a tanginess to it due to its longer and natural fermentation process. Along with a chewier texture, the flavor experience is completely different from that of white bread. With white bread, you can expect a much more neutral flavor profile that sometimes has a subtle sweetness to it.

Sourdough vs. White Bread: Digestibility

Those who have gluten sensitivity may find that sourdough bread is digested much more easily. However, this isn’t the case across the board and since food sensitivities are highly personal, don’t consider this a green light to enjoy sourdough bread. Start small and see how your body responds if you have gluten sensitivity.

Sourdough bread does have lactobacillus bacteria, which is helpful for your gut. However, the baking process destroys the beneficial bacteria. Nevertheless, you still get a benefit from the fermentation process. Plus, it’s more stable for your blood sugar when you prepare sourdough bread at home.

White bread may be more difficult to digest if you have gluten sensitivities. White bread is high in starch and breaks down into simple sugars. You either burn the glucose or your body stores it. According to a study published by the Journal of British Nutrition, white bread is linked to belly fat, which also makes you more susceptible to the development of other conditions (like type 2 diabetes).

Sourdough Recipe

A closeup of a freshly baked, sliced sourdough bread on a wooden board
Sourdough bread can be served as a side dish or you can let it shine and make it the main!

©Oakland Images/Shutterstock.com

Instead of giving you a recipe for how to make this type of bread, we want to provide you with recipes on how to make the best of your favorite sourdough bread, whether you make it at home or pick one up from your favorite bakery.

Make it the Main Dish

You can’t go wrong with a sandwich when using sourdough bread. You can create something simple to pack in lunch bags or elevate it a bit to enjoy during a sit-down breakfast at home. This open-faced sandwich recipe is the latter! You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Sourdough bread, toasted (4 slices)
  • Eggs, large (4)
  • Garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • Tomato, medium (sliced)
  • Fresh arugula (1 cup)
  • Prosciutto, thinly sliced (1/3 pound)
  • Mayonnaise (4 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1/8 teaspoon)
  • Pepper (1/8 teaspoon)

Slowly fry your eggs in a large non-stick skillet. While you wait for them to cook, combine the minced garlic with mayonnaise and spread it on each toasted slice of sourdough bread. Then, start stacking the other ingredients, including the arugula, your tomato slices, prosciutto, and finally the fried eggs. Before serving, add salt and pepper to each open-faced sandwich and enjoy!

White Bread Recipe

Sliced white bread on wooden board
White bread is simple and versatile, allowing you to incorporate it into a range of dishes or enjoy alone!

©Kritchai7752/Shutterstock.com

There’s never a shortage of white bread recipes and we’re pretty sure you’ve got the basics down. So, here is a recipe that uses white bread creatively, and again — you can make your own or snag a loaf from the bakery you most frequent.

Make it the Main Dish

A delicious meal that doesn’t require you to spend hours in the kitchen is always a win, especially on the weekends when you’re trying to take it easy. This French toast bake incorporates strawberries, allowing you to serve a tasty breakfast that’ll have your family asking for seconds. Here are the ingredients you need:

  • White bread (1 loaf)
  • Strawberries, fresh (3 cups)
  • Cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
  • Eggs, large (5)
  • Half-and-half (1 cup)
  • Confectioners’ sugar (1/2 cup)
  • Sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Cinnamon (1 tablespoon)
  • Orange zest, grated (1 tablespoon)
  • Orange juice (1 tablespoon)
  • Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
  • Whipped cream, sweetened

Start with two cups of fresh strawberries and toss in the sugar. Grab another bowl and mix the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Next, grease a baking dish and place the white bread down as the first layer.

Then, spread the cream cheese mixture over the bread. Toss in your sugary strawberries as the third layer and add the remaining bread as the fourth layer. Whisk the half-and-half with your large eggs and pour that mixture on top of the four layers. Cover the baking dish and leave it in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to prepare it in the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let it sit for about five minutes after you take it out of the oven. Then, just before serving, top with the remaining cup of strawberries and whipped cream!

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