Wild Yeast vs Commercial Yeast

At Bread SRSLY we are huge fans of all things wild. This includes wild yeast - the key ingredient of a true sourdough. Wondering why that packet of dry yeast isn’t as flavorful or nourishing as a sourdough starter? Read on to learn about the magic, benefits and history of wild yeast.


Wild fermented bread like Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough instead relies solely on wild yeast to achieve its rise, its distinct sourdough tang and its nourishing nutritional value. Just like bread made thousands of years ago, the leavening comes from the air and the grain, not from a store-bought packet. Until 160 years ago, that was the only type of yeast around.

Then in 1857, Louis Pasteur first saw yeast under a microscope, and lo and behold, baker’s yeast was made. Isolated as a single strain of yeast from the wild yeast culture, baker’s yeast was a quick, flavorful and reliable leavener that began to replace wild yeast in industrial breadmaking.

The result? Cheaper manufacturing due to newfound speed and reliability. But the unseen effects on the health benefits of bread took a toll.

When yeast acts on flour, it converts natural grain sugars and starches into carbon dioxide, which creates air pockets that make the dough rise. Wild yeast cultures go even further, using healthy lactobacilli bacteria to convert proteins (like gluten) into lactic acid that gives sourdough its flavor.

To speed up the manufacturing process, bakers began adding sweeteners to their dough to give their new bakers yeast more readily-available food. Suddenly, yeast is no longer breaking down grain sugars, since it is perfectly happy working off cane sugar, corn syrup, molasses, or whatever other sweetener might have been used. Inspired by the added speed of the sugar, manufacturers then started to use even more yeast, and the need for speed continued.

This all meant a significant change in chemical composition of a finished loaf of bread - higher natural and added sugar content, tougher starches, and excess single-strain yeast. Without the lactobacilli that come with wild yeast, grain proteins, including gluten, were now unchanged by the fermentation process, leaving them fully intact and hard to digest. Nutrients that became bioavailable due to a long fermentation process remained locked up once sugar became the fermentable ingredient instead of flour.

Cue the rise of gluten-intolerance, and less noticeably, the rise (pun intended) of single-strain-yeast-intolerance. Have trouble eating a ‘normal’ loaf of gluten free bread? Baker’s yeast and sugar might be to blame. Feel better after eating some Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough than after having a different gluten-free bread? Look toward the slow fermentation process that unlocks nutrients and transforms grains into more easily-digestible forms.

One of our passions is sharing knowledge about the incredible process of sourdough fermentation. We believe that sourdough should be the ONLY type of bread. While the added time of the fermentation is costly, and working with a wild culture can be unpredictable, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. We feel that once you develop a taste for sourdough bread, your happy belly will steer you away from the sweet, starchy conventional loaves that have locked up our nutrients all these decades.

What is Compostable Packaging?

Compostable packaging breaks down and decomposes into natural, toxin-free elements after being disposed of, producing nutrient-rich soil. This differs from standard biodegradable packaging, which also breaks down but doesn’t improve the quality of the soil. Compostable materials, when composted properly, are an ideal way to package goods while combatting pollution and supporting plant life.

All Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough bags are made from natural kraft paper and a PLA liner, and contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled content. Each bag is compostable and certified BPI-approved by the Biodegradable Products Institute.

To compost your empty Bread SRSLY bag, simply remove the tin-tie from the top opening of the package, then compost in your home or through your local municipal compost system.

Even better, you can re-use our bags to store other edible goodies, like sandwiches for a hike or picnic, or you can use them as compost bags for your veggie scraps.


Customer Stories: Ava-Elaine Brown

Since our home-baked beginnings experimenting in a small apartment kitchen, we are so proud to be shipping fresh gluten-free sourdough to sensitive eaters nationwide. It's our mission to share nourishing and delicious bread made from real, organic, and allergen-free ingredients with as many people as possible, and it’s our pleasure to get to know those people.

Over the years, so many of you have shared your stories and health journeys with us. From enjoying buttered toast for the first time since being diagnosed with celiac disease, to finally finding a preservative-free bread you're happy to serve to your young sensitive eater, your feedback has been overwhelmingly encouraging and moving.

We're excited to share these stories about who you are, what you're passionate about, and what you love to eat. We begin our series with real food lover Ava!

Tell us a bit about yourself! What do you do for fun?

Hi! My name is Ava-Elaine Brown! I just graduated from school and am really excited to use all of my free time this summer to test out and develop new gluten-free recipes! For fun, I love getting hands-on in the kitchen, whether that be baking or cooking (especially with my Momma)! I also love to work out and be active, because I can't sit still to save my life...for real, though.


Do you have any dietary restrictions?

Yes, I do have a dietary restriction. I have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that makes my body react negatively to the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

How have those restrictions impacted your life?

Having to transition to a gluten-free diet overnight was really challenging, for not only myself, but my entire family. My Mom’s go-to, tried-and-true recipes that she has been cooking for my family since I can remember were not gluten-free, and so we all had to change the outlook on how we saw the food that we brought into our home. This is when I really began preparing my own food for myself; I didn't want the rest of my family to have to change their diet too! I also didn't want to rely on the highly processed gluten-free food substitutes that more and more stores started carrying. By making this decision, it has allowed me to grow as a cook and feel more comfortable with experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

Do you follow or have your own food ideology? If so, what does it entail?

The food ideology that I follow is to invest in what you put into your body, because what you put into your body is what you're going to get out. Also, taking the time to stop and listen to what your body is telling you is something that has taken time for me to learn how to do, but is now one of my biggest mantras! This could mean skipping an early workout to sleep in, or even eating an extra snack, or heck, even an extra meal, if your body is telling you “This is what I need today.”

What are some of your favorite gluten-free meals and snacks?

I can't go a day without having a yogurt bowl for a snack! My favorite combo is a diced apple paired with plain Siggi’s yogurt, granola (my favorite gluten-free brands are Purely Elizabeth and Love Grown), with some peanut butter or almond butter.

I also love avocado toast on Bread SRSLY sourdough bread, or a Perfect Bar for a quick grab and go snack.

My favorite meal has to be grilled wild salmon or chicken breast, with roasted veggies (I'll take any kind!), and a baked sweet potato.

How did you hear about Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough?

I heard about Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough through social media. When I stumbled across it, I couldn't believe what I was reading! I remember thinking “Gluten free sourdough? I'm saved!”

For more from Ava, find her on Instagram!

Gluten-Free French Toast Recipe from Team SRSLY Runner Lauren Totten

Team SRSLY runner Lauren Totten shares her tried-and-true gluten-free French toast recipe. This classic recipe is super simple, incredibly delicious, and perfect for fueling up post-run or before an active day.

Team SRSLY Runner Lauren Totten

I’m a coffee and toast person, all day, every day, but there are definitely ways to do that more nutritiously. On the other hand, my husband, Seth, really likes a good post-run breakfast. I’m content with toast, flaky salt, butter and loads of coffee. There is always a way to make toast better. How? First, quality bread. Whether you make your own or look to get a local fresh bread with minimal ingredients, the key to great toast is fresh, nutrient-dense bread.

For almost four years now, Bread SRSLY Gluten-Free Sourdough has sponsored me, and their bread is available in local markets and many Whole Foods stores. While I am not strictly gluten intolerant, I do strive to eat nutrient dense foods - and I found this in Bread SRSLY. It’s packed with different grains like millet and brown rice, which I love.

This recipe includes Bread SRSLY bread, but if you can’t get your hands on a delicious loaf, you can order from them online and have it shipped to your door. Or, you can pick up a different local loaf of sourdough. Now, prepare for how to make a toast obsession even better: French Toast.


1 loaf Bread SRSLY Gluten-Free Sourdough, cut into thick slices (preferably Seeded Sourdough)

3/4 cup almond milk

3 eggs or flax eggs

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon cinnamon


Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then add the milk and whisk, then the maple syrup, and finally, the cinnamon.

Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish. Add the sourdough slices, making sure each piece sits well in the mixture. Pour the remaining mixture on top. Let the soaked bread sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to absorb all of the moisture.

When ready to eat, remove the dish from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, heat a skillet to medium heat and cook the slices 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they achieve a golden color.

We like to top ours with butter and maple syrup, but be creative! My husband enjoys almond butter or jelly, too. Fuel up!

View the Recipe Here

Team SRSLY Fall Updates

In 2011, Bread SRSLY started delivering bread by bicycle in hilly San Francisco. We understand (and appreciate!) first hand the thrill of an active lifestyle, and we're proud to sponsor these incredible athletes.


About Natasha

I am proud to represent the country of Canada in my quest to the Olympics. In addition to running, I am a co-founder of the non-profit organization 2nd Recess, which teaches kids ages 4-13 about healthy habits through running in San Diego. Some of my running accolades include: 5-time National Team Member, #2 Canadian Marathoner 2014, Qualifier for the 2015 Canadian Pan American and World XC Teams for 2015, and Canadian National Record Holder with the Chiba Ekiden relay team. 

I was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease in 2006, so I know the importance of having foods that you can trust and rely on, like Bread SRSLY!

What have you been up to this fall season?

I have raced a lot this year, especially with a big buildup before the Olympic Trials (and all of the emotional highs and lows that come with that experience). This fall has been a good training block with races coming up in November and December, with a focus on qualifying for the World Track and Field team in London in 2017.

Do you have any upcoming races? If so, which one(s) are you training for?

I will be racing the Silicon Valley Elite 5k on Thanksgiving Day, and then the Holiday Half in San Diego in December. I will then switch over to indoor and outdoor track to start out 2017.

What is the Thanksgiving dish you can’t wait to sink your teeth into?

I am looking forward to making a gluten-free stuffing this year with Bread SRSLY sourdough bread. I am not meat-eater, so I love loading my plate up with tons of vegetables and squashes. I will combine the following ingredients for a tasty stuffing:

• 6 cups of chopped Bread SRSLY sourdough

• 2 shallots, minced

• 2 yellow onions, diced

• 2 stalks celery, diced

• 2 carrots, diced

• 2 teaspoons dried sage

• 2 teaspoons dried thyme

• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

• 1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you most want with you?

If I were stranded on a desert island, I would most want to bring my husband (he always makes me laugh, even if we were stranded somewhere)! But as for physical items, I would want to have: a large sketchbook with pencils and pens (I love to draw), a copy of the book The Physician’s Desk Reference (it would be helpful to have a medical guide), and a good knife (I just think that it would be so beneficial to have instead of trying to fashion something myself).


About Lauren

My name is Lauren. I’m a professional runner for ASICS and recently raced the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. I live and train near Sacramento, CA in my hometown. My most proud performance was my first marathon--running 2:35 to qualify for the Olympic Trials! When I’m not running, I’m in the kitchen making a delicious kale salad or nutrient-dense sandwich on a Bread SRSLY roll! And, I’m planning my wedding. I love great espresso and spending time with my closest family, friends, and my soon-to-be husband, Seth. I work part-time at a children’s hospital, and my faith is the most important part of me; it fuels me to do what I do.

What have you been up to this fall season?

I have been up to a lot this fall! I am currently preparing for the Big Sur Half Marathon next weekend. But more importantly, I'm preparing for my fall marathon, CIM (California International Marathon). It’s my 6th marathon and my first time racing my hometown marathon. It’s perfect timing since I moved home this past year after training and living in Mammoth Lakes for the past 3 ½ years. I’m supported by SRA, Sacramento Running Association, so it feels so exciting to be racing CIM this year.

After the marathon is even more exciting news for me! I’m getting married in February to the love of my life and my favorite person to do life with, Seth. He’s a professional triathlete and a legal assistant. We can’t wait for our wedding day.

Do you have any upcoming races? If so, which one(s) are you training for?

Big Sur Half Marathon on November 13 and California International Marathon on December 4

What is the Thanksgiving dish you can’t wait to sink your teeth into?

We always make a nutrient-dense meal! Oftentimes, we actually eat more non-traditional. My mom and I really like salmon, so this is often on the menu. I always make my favorite kale salad (recreated from Smitten Kitchen’s Pecorino Kale Salad). And, sweet potatoes are always a must. Also--helllooo Sweet Onion Bread SRSLY. Who else is so excited about this?!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you most want with you?

My fiance, Seth

My favorite book (besides the Bible), Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

A picnic basket - food is so necessary.



About Katie

I run professionally for the Boston Athletic Association High Performance Team. We are an elite group that trains primarily in Boston, the city I fell in love with after attending Boston University. I qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2012 and 2016 and have personal bests of 1:11 for the half marathon, 32:23 for the 10k, and 15:30 for the 5k.

I also work part-time as a speech and language pathologist at a clinic right outside the city. We use a lot of play-based gross motor therapy to help improve language and communication in the kiddos we service.

Being gluten-intolerant doesn’t slow me down, but it has made me a lot more conscious about what I am eating and fueling my body with. Realizing that so many products (including bread!) use fillers and preservatives was very off-putting. Bread SRSLY is one of my favorite carbs to use in fueling my many miles and long days. My go-tos are making avocado toast, dipping it into one of the many soups I home make, and using the rolls whenever possible! I also make a mean gluten-free French toast casserole!

What have you been up to this fall season?

I have been coming back from a bone stress injury I was diagnosed with early in the summer. While I am back up to running almost full mileage, the intensity of my runs has been lower than normal. I am working on increasing that now and also increasing my strength in the gym.

Do you have any upcoming races? If so, which one(s) are you training for?

I do! I have a tradition where I run the Manchester Road Race (in Manchester, CT) on Thanksgiving Day. I have actually ran it the past 10 years! So I will be running that race in just a few short weeks. It will be a good gauge of where my fitness is. Then, I will see how my workouts are going to see if I can get some races onto my schedule for the new year.

What is the Thanksgiving dish you can’t wait to sink your teeth into?

I really look forward to the actual turkey – it is probably the only day of the year that I actually have roast turkey that isn’t a cold cut!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you most want with you?

Let’s see – if I were really stuck there with no way off, I would have to say a good book, matches, and a good food supply (including your bread!), so I could sit and wait for a plane to pass!


About Kristen

After graduating from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) I knew I wanted to run professionally. I worked my way up the ranks and qualified for three Olympic Marathon Trials (2008, 2012, 2016) with a marathon personal best of 2:32:48 from 2014. I am currently taking a break from the professional scene because I am expecting my first child. I will continue to run after the baby is born and will continue to coach high school track and cross country, a job I got last spring.

What have you been up to this fall season?

This fall season has had me focusing on exercising everyday, but not competing. I am focused on the birth of my first child and staying healthy for her!

Do you have any upcoming races? If so, which one(s) are you training for?

I have some goal races on my radar for the fall of 2017. Those races give me something to shoot for once my baby is born. I need to have a goal to get out the door everyday. I’m excited to tackle them, and as they get closer I will announce those goals!

What is the Thanksgiving dish you can’t wait to sink your teeth into?

I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving dinner (I know call me crazy)! I would have to say turkey with homemade cranberry relish. Hmmm, maybe I should try making stuffing with my Bread SRSLY. Maybe then my mouth would be watering for Thanksgiving dinner!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you most want with you?

Bread SRSLY of course, my husband, and my baby!