Is sourdough bread vegan

Is bread vegan? Which bread is vegan? How does bread become vegan?

Vegan bread: Those who follow a vegan diet can safely access most types of bread. But there are a few things to keep in mind ...

Vegan diet and bread

Vegan is the trend, even if from a scientific point of view there are definitely doubts about this form of nutrition, which has become a kind of religion in the wake of the "free from ..." wave. A vegan must also be a well-informed specialist in nutrition in order to avoid severe deficiency symptoms and illnesses. One of the key factors here is the supply of certain vitamins.[1] Nevertheless, some consumers consider the vegan diet to be worth striving for, which of course must be taken into account by food producers. The question is therefore whether the typical bread shelf in a bakery can do justice to this, i.e. whether it consists of purely vegetable ingredients.

Vegan bread: the basic raw materials

Basically, the basic raw materials for bread, flour, water and salt, are all vegan. This also applies if part of the flour matures into sourdough due to lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are not made from milk, but break down sugar into lactic acid, hence the name. Today they are often grown in the laboratory under pure breeding conditions and then propagated in a vegan environment made of dough and water in the bakery every day. So sourdough is vegan; in contrast to the baking ferment that is widespread in the organic sector and is made with honey. Honey is not considered vegan because it is produced by bees. On the other hand, yeast is vegan as an alternative or supplementary leavening agent to sourdough as a natural unicellular fungus.

Vegan bread ingredients

The acceptance of a vegan product also applies to breads to which other types of grain or oilseeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed, sesame or similar have been added, such as multigrain bread. The use of spices, fried onions, beer in beer bread, nuts, almonds and legumes such as soy, lentils or lupins are also not critical. In this respect, most mixed breads, rye breads and multigrain breads on the bread shelf of a bakery are vegan by default. When it comes to wheat-based breads and rolls, however, it is worth taking a closer look at the ingredients. Sometimes dairy products such as buttermilk, whey or powdered milk are used here to promote taste and freshness. The addition of lard to refine the taste cannot be ruled out, for example in some pretzel recipes. Due to fundamental concerns (Muslims are not allowed to eat pork and they often do not know the traditional addition of lard to pretzels), many bakeries have often replaced the lard with butter or vegetable oil in recent years. Vegetable oil is vegan, but butter is not known.

Vegan bread: check other ingredients critically!

A sticking point is the use of any baking agents in wheat baked goods, especially in rolls, which are sometimes used to promote volume, browning and other properties. Typical, usually vegan, ingredients of a baking agent are: swelling flours, swelling starches, wheat gluten, malt flours, sugar, phosphates, enzymes, ascorbic acid and acidulants. Other ingredients such as emulsifiers or hydrocolloids have to be considered in detail. Mono- and diglycerides, which are made from fatty acids and glycerine, can be used as emulsifiers. Although these are usually of vegetable origin, there is no rule without exception. A guaranteed vegan alternative would be the use of soy lecithin as an emulsifier. In the bread sector, mostly purely vegetable ingredients such as cellulose, pectins or guar gum are used as hydrocolloids. Gelatine, which is not vegan, is only used for cold-made confectionery products such as cream cakes. Whey or milk powder can also be part of a baking agent, which by their nature are not vegan.

Because baking agents, which serve to improve quality, can be dispensed with in the traditional bread sector, many bakeries are generally putting the use of baking agents to the test. This is different with small wheat baked goods such as bread rolls, where the customer has a certain expectation of volume and consistency that becomes difficult without the addition of an emulsifier. For this purpose, vegan baking agents are already being offered on the market.

Summary: Vegan bread - bread vegan

So the basic assumption remains that the majority of all breads are vegan by default, especially those types with a high proportion of rye. Otherwise, it helps to take a look at the list of ingredients, which can also be found in unpacked baked goods due to the allergen labeling, e.g. in the form of a notebook in a bakery shop. I also recommend that every lover of bread always talk to the baker you trust. A good baker has nothing to hide.

Report in the world online at, accessed on June 29, 2014