The Bread That Makes My Day
As a kid, I loved eating white French stick and Italian bread, especially the heel of the loaf.
Lately, Blackbird Baking Co.’s Baldwin Brown Sourdough has become my addiction. It’s an artisanal loaf made from unbleached whole wheat flour; red fife flour; sea salt and sourdough.
When I bite into the Baldwin Brown’s crust, my teeth initially meet resistance that yields to a chewy, tasty slice of bread. I love to breathe in the bread’s tangy aroma when I pull the round, brown loaf from its tan paper bag.
The bread is beige in coloring from the wheat flour and spotted with air pockets. One sourdough loaf doesn’t stay in my fridge for long.
After doing some research, I learned that sourdough is a starter that begins with flour and water left overnight to ferment and develop wild yeasts.
The sourdough’s simple ingredients enhance both the bread’s flavor, nutritional value and texture. The unique, vinegary sourdough or fermented dough, with its micro-organisms and lactic acid bacteria, over time, acts as a natural yeast and leavening agent.
While baker’s yeast dates back 150 years sourdough used as a leavening agent in bread goes back to ancient Egypt.
If they’re fortunate enough to have it, starters are passed down through generations of families. The age of the sourdough starter enhances the bread’s flavor with a unique tangy flavor.
A sample of the Blackbird Baking Co.’s sourdough starter is housed in a temperature-controlled sourdough library in Belgium at Puratos where sourdough cultures from around the world are stored.
Puratos is an ingredient supplier for bakers, pastry makers and chocolatiers. Puratos sourdough librarian, Karl De Smedt, has the enviable job of travelling the globe in search of sourdough cultures and stories.
Check out the Puratos sourdough library:
Here’s a video of sourdough bread preparation in Mexico.
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Words by HB