Unlocking the Secrets of Sourdough
Real bread, according our friends in the know over at Bread Ahead, should take at least three days to make. Three hours, therefore, was a worryingly short time in which to scratch the surface but nevertheless made for it a fascinating jaunt into the world of sourdough science.
Instead of sharing recipes and giving a blow-by-blow account of my evening, spoiling the surprise should you wish to do the same course, I thought I’d share ten things I now know about the mighty (sour) dough.
1. It’s better for you – thanks to the lively bacteria that make their home in the starter. Fermentation is your friend…
2. Starters can last indefinitely – just don’t leave it more than 2 weeks without a feed (flour and water)
3. Organic rye flour makes for the strongest and most flavoursome starters
4. All Bread Ahead’s bread is made from the samestarter, Brucie – replenished each day
5. San Francisco is sourdough capital of the universe… apparently the unique tang is provided by bakers’ sweat, purposefully dripped into the dough…
6. For a pro finish, you’ll need a proofing basket. If only because it’ll look awesome hanging on your kitchen wall
7. Yes it takes time – but there’s a nifty ‘no knead’ method that even the most basic baker can get to grips with
8. Its original is in Ancient Egyptian culture – it’s the oldest form of leavened bread known to man
9. The lactobacillus (see point 1) in the bread gives it a slightly sour taste but also makes itlast longer – up to 10 days. No preservatives needed
10. It’s worth the wait… serve straight up with raw salted butter