In our fast-paced, profit driven world, we want instant results and immediate gratification, especially when it comes to food.

Quick, cheap and easy to produce, fast and processed convenience foods now make up a huge part of our diets, and it’s no surprise that this has coincided with a whole host of health issues.

Bread is one of the foods we have sought to ‘speed up’ in modern times. For thousands of years, bread was made the same way – a slow process that took six hours or more. The advent of commercial instant yeast, enhancers, and methods of mass production, however, has seen bread production squeezed into three hours or less.

It may be faster, easier to produce and more profitable for commercial bakers, but according to Byron bay artisan baker Simon Ivanac, of Heart Bread Byron Bay, the modern mass produced fluffy white loaf of bread leaves a lot to be desired.

A consequence of it being made so quickly is that it contains higher level of gluten, and is harder to digest.

Traditional sourdoughs such as those produced by Simon and partner Rachel, involve a long (at least six hour) prove or fermentation of the dough, and during this time, the starter (a combination of naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria that is added to the mix) behind to break down the gluten.

“The gluten…is in a different form, so it’s less reactive to our digestive systems,” Simon explained.

As well as making sourdough better for you, the friendly bacteria in the starter also give sourdough it’s tangy flavour and chewy texture: “You differently get a different crumb a different crust and a lot more flavour,” Simon said.

Simon and Rachel use only organic flours, no additives  or preservatives and  incorporate wholesome and nutritious ingredients into their loaves, like their Jack the Wholesome, made with soaked linseeds and pearl barley; and their Khorasan loaf, made with kamut (an ancient grain), quinoa and chia seeds.

All their flour is organic, their ingredients the best quality they can source, and everything done slowly, by hand, and baked in their hand made wood fired ovens.

It’ may not be the most efficient or cheapest way to make bread, but according to Simon, the finished product is worth it.

“Our number one consideration has always been a better quality product.. .and better for the people who we’re selling to.”

– Find Heart Breads at the New Brighton Farmers Market every Tuesday.