Naturally leavened (ie. lacto-fermented) bread is believed to share a timeline with agriculture itself, dating back to the Neolithic age.
Modern bread is an entirely different end product as a result of divergent ingredients, chemical reactions, processes and cooking methods. The distinction between what has been called bread historically and what we call bread today, is not a small one.
This fascinating article from the Whole Grains Council highlights one Italian study using a particular strain of sourdough lacobacilli and fungal proteases to ferment dough and results in a bread that it meets the standard for gluten-free labeling without any additions, deletions or adulteration. As these sorts of studies continue, it will be interesting to see what else we learn about historic bread’s nutritional composition and that made it uniquely poised to persist as a staple for almost every known culture over the last 10,000 years.