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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.

GetAttachment-2.aspxInstead 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 wallGetAttachment-1.aspxGetAttachment-3.aspx
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

GetAttachment.aspxLondon’s best sourdough? Obviously the Bread Ahead stall in Borough Market (side note try their macaroons…). But also pop over to St John Bakery, E5 Bakehouse and Fabrique.

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