Is Sourdough Bread Vegan?

Is Sourdough Bread Vegan

Bread has been one of the staples that has been holding families together without making them go hungry. But one of the most prominent one is hands down the Sour Dough bread. Sour Dough bread is a classic favorite for many families across America. But the interesting question is, Is Sour Dough Bread vegan? Bread being the most common staple for many and being incredibly easy to make definitely needs to be analysed to understand whether it is vegan or not?

About Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is prepared by fermenting of dough by using natural ingredients like lactobacilli and yeast. As compared to the other breads, sourdough breads are sour in taste because of the lactic acid (like that of Soy sauce) that is produced from lactobacilli.

Ingredients in Sour Dough Bread

Ingredients in Sour Dough Bread

The quality and the perfection with which any food is made depends totally on the ingredients be it a classic chocolate to Sour Dough bread. Your Sour Dough bread can only have the perfect sponginess and flavor, if and only if you get the ingredients right. To answer the question “Is sourdough bread Vegan”, we have to first look at the list of ingredients that are used to make the Sourdough bread.

The ingredients include:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Starter that contains Wild yeast, lactobacillus bacteria and flour

If you had skimmed through the ingredients it is possible that you might have guessed it by now. You favorite Sour Dough Bread is vegan, almost!

Apart from the non-vegan ingredients some brands of bread also use enzymes as the starter for the bread that are derived from animal by-products and are definitely not vegan. It is very important that you look forward to the ingredients list of every bread product that you buy to help you identify whether they are vegan or not.

Vegan Ingredients in Sourdough Bread 

When it comes to vegan approved ingredients, the most fundamental ingredients that are needed to make a perfect sour dough bread are all vegan approved and that includes

  • The flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • The Sourdough Starter (combination of flour and yeast)

So well, these are the base ingredients that make the bread and any bread that you find in the store ONLY with these ingredients can be considered vegan friendly.

Non-Vegan Ingredients Sourdough Bread

However, to make things taste a little flavorful and worth the taste, many of the leading bread manufacturers tend to go with butter and eggs to make a perfect delight out of your sour dough experience.

Most of the possible non-vegan ingredients that you can find in the Sour Dough bread include;

  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Butter milk
  • Cream
  • Casein
  • Whey
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Honey
  • Lard

All these ingredients are some of the typical substitutes that are used in the manufacture of sour dough bread by industries. There is also another way of indulging a non-vegan product to keeping your vegan based sour dough bread, The packaging.

Make sure that you do not find packaging like breads packed in tins and closed containers as most of them are more probable to have a good coating of butter or other preservatives that are not vegan friendly to keep the bread fresh and tasty.

So these are the non-vegan ingredients that you need to look for and there is also an possibility that the vegan sour dough bread you are purchasing maybe manufactured in the same space where they manufacture non-vegan based foods too, so always be considerate enough to look into the manufacturing description before you even purchase the bread.

How to replace non-Vegan ingredients for Sourdough Bread?

Although sourdough bread only contains flour, water, salt, and sourdough starter, some animal-derived products may be added to enhance the flavor. You can do this by substituting vegan-friendly ingredients for non-vegan ones.

Bakers would frequently add honey to sourdough bread, which is not suitable for vegans. Maple syrup is a great, nearly identical substitute for honey. Brown rice syrup, molasses, beet sugar, and agave nectar are just a few other sweeteners that can be used.

You should always check if there is an egg in sourdough bread. If your recipe calls for eggs, substitute flax seeds. They make an excellent vegan substitute. One egg is equal to one tablespoon of flaxseed. Aquafaba can also be used in place of egg whites. It is made from the liquid leftover after cooking legumes. The most popular type is chickpea aquafaba. You can purchase it or make it at home with this Aquafaba recipe.

Also Read: Vegan Macaron Recipe with Aquafaba

The question often arises among the vegans “does sourdough bread have dairy.” Yes, sometimes the bakers use milk to tenderize the dough. However, dairy milk can be easily substituted with soy, coconut, almond, or rice milk. Because these vegan alternatives are thicker than dairy milk, you may need to cut the levels used in the recipe to avoid thickness.

Even if the bread contains no additional ingredients, if it was baked in a loaf tin, you should check what the loaf tin was greased with. However, it is common for it to be coated with butter. Plant oils such as rapeseed, sunflower, olive, and coconut are excellent bread butter substitutes. Similarly, vegan margarine may have more tenderizing qualities than liquid oil.

You can have your own vegan sourdough bread at home with these small changes.

How to Easily Identify Vegan Sourdough Bread

How to Easily Identify Vegan Sourdough Bread

If you are looking at a sourdough bread and wondering “is sourdough bread vegan?”, you need to notice the ingredients used to make the sourdough bread. Vegan breads do not have ingredients like eggs, milk, animal products and by-products.

Also look for enzymes used in the starters that can possibly be derived from animal base products. Always skim through the ingredients list of the sour dough bread and identify possible non-vegan ingredients.

To make sure, you easily identify the vegan sour dough bread, all you have to do is make sure that the ingredients do not have anything else other than the flour, water, salt and the starter. If you find anything unusual than the ingredients that you find, my option would be to go with another brand of sour dough bread because there is a high probability that the bread has non-vegan ingredients.

List of Vegan and Non-Vegan Breads

Is Sourdough Bread Vegan?

So, when it comes to dealing with the whole concept of breads that are vegan and not vegan. It definitely lies within the ingredients. However, there is a possibility that a non-vegan ingredient might slip through to make it tastier. So always check the ingredients description and the place of manufacture before you buy the bread.

Some of the vegan alternatives of bread include;

  • Sour dough bread
  • Ciabatta
  • Focaccia
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Pita

Some of the breads that are Non-vegan include:

  • Challah
  • Naan
  • Sandwich bread
  • Garlic bread
  • Brioche

All the vegan breads are genuinely made from vegan approved products originally and the chances of them being contaminated with a non-vegan ingredient is very less.

Summing Up

The basic sourdough bread is completely vegan, but, the other sourdough breads are can’t be considered vegan. Check the ingredients before you purchase any sourdough breads and if there are non-vegan ingredients mentioned above then do not purchase that bread. You can bake a bread by yourself, then prepare one with us.


Yes, some of the Sour dough breads have eggs that are non-vegan ingredients making such breads non-vegan. There are also some sour dough breads that have traces of egg-based ingredients that are entirely non-vegan. So, look for these ingredients in the bread that you buy if you are specific about vegan bread.

While sour bread does not typically contain dairy products in the dough, bakers will frequently bake these loaves in buttered pans or brush the crusts with butter as they bake. Furthermore, sourdough is artificially enriched with ingredients such as pineapple juice, honey, milk, or other flavorings. Here, milk is not suitable for a vegan diet.

The sourdough culture is vegan-friendly! It is simply a mixture of water and flour. As a result, it is a completely vegan product in and of itself.

Although white sourdough bread is considered vegan friendly, whole grain sourdough breads are plant-based. But it’s always good to check the ingredients list for animal-based ingredients before buying one.

Vegan sourdough bread is an excellent substitute for regular bread. It contains more nutrients, is less likely to cause blood sugar spikes, and is usually easily digestible.

Since yeast has no nervous system, they are regarded as sentient, which means they will never undergo pain and distress even if they are killed. In a nutshell, yeast is suitable for vegans.

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