Sourdough: The original method of producing leavened bread, and some people would argue still the best! Send us your Sourdough diaries and or pictures for a chance to win a £25.00 voucher to use in our online store. The winner will be picked at random from all qualifying entries. All entries must be received by October 14th. Good Luck and Enjoy!
Sourdough can but just flavouring – check the label! Artificial sourdoughs are often used today, which give the bread an acidic taste. These breads do not have the enzymatic properties of a real sourdough, which aids the digestibility and taste of bread, especially rye bread.
In the UK the term 'sourdough' has been hijacked to describe a certain type of bread – more correctly it should be called 'sourdough method bread' because 'sourdough' describes a fermentation process - not a bread.
There are several methods to produce sourdough, from a single phase to a multi-phase process. Entire books are written on the various methods. Basically, a sourdough is started by mixing equal parts of flour and water with a either a starter culture of pure selected strains of bacteria or a small amount of sourdough from the previous day's baking or just leaving it to spontaneously ferment capturing wild yeasts in the air. The 'right' sourdough used to be a closely guarded secret amongst baking families and was handed down through the generations. The dough is fermented with the aid of wild yeasts and airborne acid-producing bacteria. Sourdough creates the conditions that make rye flour 'bakeable' as rye has less starch and less protein than wheat but more soluble sugar and water-binding pentosans; it also contains more enzymes for breaking down starch. Sourdough helps to give bread structure and elasticity. Sourdough allows the natural enzymes to form the dough structure. Sourdough produces lactic and acetic acid for taste and aroma.
Nothing more than flour or water! The surface of grains are usually home to thriving colonies of one or more species of yeast and bacteria. These live in symbiotic relationship with the grain and so are arguably the most suitable to start a sourdough culture.
We have invented our own rice leaven which is organic and gluten-free and just based on freshly milled rice, peas and a spoon full of honey. That’s it! No gums – no additives! The only difference to a traditional sourdough is that we make it fresh each week rather than just refresh our old sourdough. The reason we do that is to avoid false fermentation and to keep the acetic acids in check – we want our leaven to develop more lactic acids which help to make bread more easy to digest and milder in taste. Our sourdough method is a bit too complicated for home use – here is a home version for you to try!