Love the soft, slightly acidic taste of our sourdough? There's a real science behind it, but everyone's well equipped to make their own sourdough if they have the know-how. We're on a bit of a mission to spread the bready goodness and get everyone into eating great, quality loaves that are made with love - not with industrial processes and nasty chemical additives. With that in mind, we've pulled a little guide to sourdough together with our team of brilliant bakers, should you fancy giving it a go yourself...
WHAT'S SOURDOUGH, THEN?
A bread with a quite literally, more sour flavour, sourdough differs from your standard Tesco-bought bread loaf in a couple of interesting ways. Sourdough uses wild yeast in the air and its own ‘starter’ as a leavening (rising) agent, instead of bought yeast. The wild yeast and natural bacteria in our sourdough react with each other to produce lactic acid and acetic acid, which result in that slightly sour flavour.
People love sourdough for its extra flavour. The acidic quality of the bread lends an extra depth of flavour and also increases the shelf life of our bread (3-4 days at home).
SOURDOUGH STARTERS - MAKE YOUR OWN
Like back in the good old days, our sourdough ‘starter’ (or levain) is used to make the bread rise. We use this is instead of a bought yeast.
The sourdough starter is so simple to make. It's really just a matter of adding water to flour.
You leave a mixture of flour and water (in equal parts) to react overnight, then take a fraction of this mixture the next day and add it to a new mix of flour and water. (This is called 'feeding' your starter.)
You'll need to feed a liquid levain (or 'starter') every 12 hours, equal parts flour and water with 15/20% of the previous day’s mix included in this.
This method is then repeated every day for seven days until the mix begins to react and bubble. That’s when you're good to go ahead and use your levain as a raising agent in your bread mix.
Your ‘starter’ needs to be fed regularly (once a week) after the initial week and then you’re good to begin baking with it.
You can add sugar, apple juice, cider, or any fruit to your starter mix to encourage a slightly different flavour to your dough. Ours was started with a splash of orange juice (we don't mind giving our secrets away, if the result is damn fine bread).