Bicycling (South Africa) - - EAT - JS

Need proof that you can con­sume bread (and but­ter) daily, and still ride re­ally, re­ally fast? Meet Robin Car­pen­ter. The 25-year- old pro con­ti­nen­tal rider is one of the top cy­clists on the North Amer­i­can pro­fes­sional cir­cuit, and he got there on a diet of home-baked sour­dough. His bread is in such de­mand from his team­mates, he brings it to events. “When I make a per­fect loaf, it feels like winning a race,” Car­pen­ter says.

By mak­ing your own bread, you elim­i­nate un­nec­es­sary ad­di­tives like sugar and preser­va­tives. Plus, says Car­pen­ter, “I need all those carbs for my big rides.” Science agrees. “There’s a moun­tain of ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that low­car­bo­hy­drate di­ets don’t make you faster,” says Sean Burke, an ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist and cy­cling coach in San Diego.

To make his sour­dough, Car­pen­ter uses a spe­cial starter, a fer­mented blend of flour and wa­ter. It makes a de­li­cious loaf that’s es­pe­cially ben­e­fi­cial for cy­clists (see ‘Be­yond the Baguette’, left). While it’s more com­pli­cated than cre­at­ing a yeast-based dough, the process isn’t dif­fi­cult – the hard­est part is wait­ing out the ‘stinky cheese’ phase while the mix­ture fer­ments, says Car­pen­ter. Check his recipe at bi­cy­cling.co. za/sour­dough. –

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