Is Sourdough Bread Vegan? (Find Out Now!)

Is Sourdough Bread Vegan

If you’ve ever had sourdough bread you probably noticed that it has a unique taste that is unlike other bread. You can buy sourdough bread at stores, but it’s also incredibly easy to make your own. If you buy store-bought products like bread you’re probably used to reading labels to see if they’re vegan-friendly or meet your other dietary preferences.

Sourdough bread is considered vegan. Traditional sourdough bread is made from fermented dough and contains only flour, water, and salt. Store-bought sourdough bread is typically free of animal ingredients, as well. Other vegan bread alternatives include Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Frozen Sprouted Grain Bread, Franz Organic The Great Sprouted Bread, and Arnold Organic 22 Grains & Seeds Bread.

Did you know that fermented foods like sourdough might provide some health benefits? If you’re wondering how sourdough is made and what gives it its unique sour flavor, then keep reading!

What is sourdough bread?

Sourdough bread is a type of bread that is naturally leavened. Naturally leavened means that it doesn’t use commercial yeast like many types of bread.

Sourdough is a bread made from naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in flour. In traditional sourdough recipes, there are only three ingredients: starter culture (made of flour and water), salt, and flour.

The yeast digests the starches in the flour which is called fermentation. The result of fermentation is lactic acid which gives fermented foods their sour taste.

How is sourdough made?

Traditional sourdough bread is very easy to make. You just need a sourdough starter to begin the process. A sourdough starter takes a few days to make and will provide the yeast needed to make your sourdough. You can learn how to make a sourdough starter here. You can also buy sourdough starters if you prefer not to make your own.

Once you have a sourdough starter you just have to mix it with flour and water. The dough needs to rest for at least 12 hours for the fermentation to occur. Once the dough is rested you can bake the sourdough in the oven like other bread.

How do you know if store-bought bread is true sourdough?

The issue with store-bought sourdough is that it might not be genuine sourdough. There aren’t any regulations as far as labeling bread as sourdough. Some store-bought sourdough has sour flavoring added to make it seem like sourdough without actually being fermented.

The best way to ensure you get genuine sourdough is to buy it from a notable bakery that can answer your questions about how it was made, or make it yourself.

Benefits of sourdough bread compared to regular wheat bread

Might raise blood sugar less than other bread

A study on the blood sugar response after eating different bread concluded that sourdough fermentation helps reduce the glycemic response. That means that sourdough might raise your blood sugar less than eating regular wheat bread.

Lower phytate content

Phytates are compounds in some foods (including bread) that reduce the absorption of beneficial nutrients. For this reason, phytates are referred to as antinutrients. Sourdough bread contained less phytic acid (phytates) compared to another type of bread.

Better tolerance by gluten-sensitive people

The process of fermentation means that some of the gluten (protein in wheat bread) is broken down by the bacteria. This means that people sensitive to gluten might tolerate sourdough better than regular bread.

The same is true of fermented dairy products like cheese and yogurt, which are often better tolerated by people with lactose intolerance.

Regular bread uses baker’s yeast which speeds the leavening (rising) of the bread. The short leavening time means there isn’t time for the fermentation of gluten.

Benefits of fermented foods like sourdough

There are several potential health benefits from eating fermented foods such as sourdough bread.

Might improve cholesterol and lipid levels

According to test tube and animal studies, lactic acid in fermented foods helps lower cholesterol levels.

Colon cancer prevention

According to studies, lactic acid in fermented foods might play a role in colon cancer prevention. However, the exact mechanism isn’t clear.

Improved gut health

Fermented foods containing lactic acid have a similar effect as probiotics in your digestive system. Probiotics help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut which are important for digestion, immune health, and metabolism.

Stress, illness, and the use of antibiotics can all wreak havoc on your digestive system over time. Signs and risk factors of an altered gut microbiome (a colony of healthy bacteria) include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Eating a high-sugar diet
  • Unintentional weight changes
  • Sleep disturbances/chronic tiredness
  • Skin irritation
  • Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac disease, lupus, etc.
  • Food intolerances

What are some other vegan-friendly fermented foods?

If you’re on a vegan diet and don’t eat gluten, there are plenty of other fermented foods you can include in your diet to obtain their health benefits.

1. Kimchi

Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine and consists of fermented cabbage and other vegetables, garlic, ginger, peppers, and seasoning.  Traditional kimchi can contain fish sauce, so be sure to choose kimchi without added animal ingredients. You can buy kimchi or make your own at home.

2. Pickled vegetables

You can pickle vegetables in a way that also ferments them. Not all pickled vegetables are fermented, though. Fermented vegetables must sit for days while fermenting.

3. Kombucha

Kombucha is a drink of fermented tea. It’s gained popularity in the last several years but has been around for thousands of years and is thought to have originated in China,

4. Tempeh

Tempeh is a food made from fermented soybeans. Tofu is a staple protein source for many vegans and is a good source of both iron and calcium, both nutrients that can be deficient in a vegan diet.

Sourdough Bread Nutrition Information

The Essential Baking Company Take and Bake Sourdough Loaf


  • Organic Unbleached Wheat Flour
  • Water
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Barley Malt

Nutrition facts (per 1/8 loaf):

  • Calories: 130
  • Total Fat: 0.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 260 mg (11% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 26 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Seattle Sourdough Waterfront Sourdough Bread

Some bread contains milk products. This is a vegan-friendly option with natural lactic acid from the fermentation process, thus giving sourdough its name since lactic acid is sour.


  • Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, And Folic Acid)
  • Water
  • Contains 2% Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Vital Wheat Gluten, Salt, Yeast, Distilled Vinegar, Vegetable Oil (Canola And/Or Soy), Corn Meal, Dough Conditioners (Ascorbic Add), Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes, Potassium Sorbate (Mold Inhibitor).

Nutrition facts (per 1 slice):

  • Calories: 120
  • Total Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 220 mg (10% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 23 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Franz Organic Gold Coast Sourdough


  • Organic Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Organic Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin And Folic Acid)
  • Filtered Water
  • Organic Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Contains 2% Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Yeast, Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Organic Cultured Wheat Flour, Enzymes

Nutrition facts (per 1 slice):

  • Calories: 80
  • Total Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg (7% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 15 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Other vegan bread alternatives

Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Frozen Sprouted Grain Bread

Food For Life, Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Grain Cereal, Original, 16 oz Ingredients:

  • Organic Sprouted Wheat
  • Filtered Water
  • Organic Sprouted Barley
  • Organic Sprouted Millet
  • Organic Malted Barley
  • Organic Sprouted Lentils
  • Organic Sprouted Soybeans
  • Organic Sprouted Spelt
  • Fresh Yeast
  • Organic Wheat Gluten
  • Sea Salt

Nutrition facts (per 34 g):

  • Calories: 80
  • Total Fat: 0.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 75 mg (3% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 15 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Iron: 6% DV

Franz Organic The Great Sprouted Bread


  • Organic Whole Wheat Flour (Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Whole Wheat Flour)
  • Filtered Water
  • Organic Grain And Seed Blend (Organic Cracked Wheat, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Brown Flax Seeds, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Steel-Cut Oats, Organic Millet, Organic Black Sesame Seeds, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Golden Flax, Organic Spelt Flakes, Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Tri-Colored Quinoa, Organic Sorghum, Organic Buckwheat Groats, Organic Khorasan Wheat Flakes, Organic Barley Flakes, Organic Triticale Flakes, Organic Soft White Wheat Flakes, Organic Rye Flakes, Organic Poppy Seeds, Organic Amaranth, Organic Cornmeal, Flax Meal, Chia Seeds, Organic Wheat Bran)
  • Organic Cane Sugar
  • Organic Vital Wheat Gluten
  • Contains 2% Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Yeast, Organic Molasses, Organic Oat Fiber, Sea Salt, Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Cultured Wheat Flour, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid

Nutrition facts (per 33 g):

  • Calories: 90
  • Total Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 80 mg (3% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 15 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Added Sugar: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Iron: 6% DV

Arnold Organic 22 Grains & Seeds Bread


  • Whole Wheat Flour*
  • Water
  • Wheat Gluten*
  • Cane Sugar*
  • Flaxseed*
  • Oats*
  • Rye Sourdough (Water, Fermented Rye Flour*)
  • Yeast
  • Sunflower Seeds*
  • Soybean Oil*
  • Sea Salt
  • Brown Sugar*
  • Millet*
  • Cultured Wheat Flour*
  • Black And White Sesame Seeds*
  • Pumpkin Seeds*
  • Cracked Wheat*
  • Molasses*
  • Grain Vinegar*
  • Natural Flavor*
  • Rye Flour*
  • Flaxmeal*
  • Black Chia Seeds*
  • Kamut (Khorasan Wheat)*
  • Kaniwa Seeds*
  • Teff*
  • Citric Acid
  • Brown Rice*
  • Buckwheat Flour*
  • Spelt Flour*
  • Amaranth*
  • Barley*
  • Blue Cornmeal*
  • Triticale*
  • Salt
  • Sorghum Flour*
  • Quinoa**Certified organic ingredients

Nutrition facts (per 48 g):

  • Calories: 140
  • Total Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 230 mg (10% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 22 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugars: 4 g
  • Added Sugar: 4 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Iron: 6% DV

Related Questions

Is sourdough bread good for people with diabetes?

Sourdough bread still contains carbohydrates which turn into blood sugar. Sourdough bread might raise blood sugar more slowly than regular bread according to some studies. If you have diabetes you should still treat sourdough as food that raises your blood sugar like any other carbohydrate until you have an idea of how your blood sugar responds to it.

Is sourdough bread gluten-free?

Most sourdough bread is made from wheat flour so is not gluten-free. You can buy specialty gluten-free sourdough bread, but it’s likely harder to find than normal sourdough.

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Diana Gariglio-Clelland

Diana Gariglio-Clelland is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She obtained her Bachelor's in Nutrition from the University of Idaho in 2012 and has worked in clinical, community, and primary care nutrition settings. She currently works as a freelancer on various health- and nutrition-related projects.

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