A legend tells that sourdough was born about 5000 years ago during a flood of the Nile which flooded the grain and flour warehouses. The fermentation of the flour started spontaneously and when they tried to bake bread with that fermented flour, they noticed that it was definitely better. From there, setting aside a fragment and then adding it to the following mixtures, the yeast was formed. Altamura bread, made with natural mother sourdough, is mentioned in the works of Horace. At that time they did not know it was natural sourdough, but that means that Latinos have been in contact with these products for several centuries, and they have recognized and notified their exceptional nature in many writings and testimonies. In medieval villages, traditionally, everyone could benefit from the oven in which to bake their own bread. They did it once a week and it stayed soft longer; and many people had their own mother yeast. Sourdough is made up of microorganisms, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, which work in combination to increase the volume of a flour and water dough. This process is in fact defined leavening. Obviously, the proportions of these microorganisms must be adequate and sourdough is said to be stable when the amount of yeast and lactobacilli remains constant over time. It takes years to achieve this result and the Bonifanti mother yeast is over eighty.
Languages, however articulated in terms, in this case lack precision, because they do not distinguish yeast made only from yeasts -like, for example, brewer’s yeast which is absolutely natural but contains only one family of yeast- from yeasts composed by multiple families of yeasts and bacteria. There is no official definition, there is no linguistic difference.
Why do someone adds brewer’s yeast to a mother yeast? To speed up the fermentation process, to produce more and faster. Sourdough is slow in its growth and development. If times are accelerated, the consequences are spilled over the characteristics of the final product, because all that beneficial part induced by the functioning of the bacteria is inexorably lost.
This is the reason why there is a big difference between a product made exclusively with natural sourdough or a product made with brewer’s yeast in part.
We don’t know how many have the mission to work exclusively with natural sourdough, but that’s how we work. And we have never put a gram of brewer’s yeast into production to speed up, anticipate, add.