Sourdough is notorious for being one of the more difficult loaves for bakers to perfect, but when done right, it’s one of the most delicious. Known for its characteristic flavour (ranging from mild to strong), chewy texture and crisp crust, you’re bound to impress customers with a selection of sourdough on your counter.
For health conscious customers, it dominates when compared to standard loaves. The naturally occurring acids and long fermentation help to break down the proteins and gluten, making it more digestible and easy for the body to absorb, which is always a bonus!
In light of sourdough’s recent popularity, we thought we’d put together some of our top tips for creating perfect loaves every time.
But for those of you with less time on your hands, we stock a variety of bread mixes to satisfy your customers with.
Things to remember
A sourdough starter is made from a mixture of flour and water. This mix attracts wild yeast and friendly bacteria from its surrounding environment that will naturally leaven your bread. Therefore, it must be kept ‘alive’ with regular feeds of flour and water to maintain its strength.
To take good care of your starter, you have to feed it regularly. When a starter gets too sour the acid stops the yeast from growing and making bubbles. A well-fed active starter is characterized by lots of bubbles and a puffy or spongy texture.
Whole grain wheat, rye and spelt will work best because these grains have enough yeast spores to keep the starter going.
Top tip: fill a glass with water and drop a teaspoon of starter into the glass. If it floats, it’s ready to use. If it sinks, give it an additional feed.
A touch of flair
After a week or so and once your starter is bubbling and puffy, you can start making delicious loaves to entice your customers with.
How about creating sandwich loaves for customers to take-away with them on their picnic? Simple white loaves are bound to be a hit with all taste buds, but a melted cheddar cheese topping would make the perfect partner to most sandwich fillings.
Sourdough loaves can really be transformed by the addition of new textures and flavours. Kneading in chopped nuts and raisins can give a welcoming crunchy texture and compliment the complex flavours of the dough. A generous sprinkling of sunflower or sesame seeds before baking gives loaves of all shapes and sizes an eye-catching finish.
You can use sourdough to make more than just bread, so why not take your afternoon tea offering up a notch with sourdough scones? Simply make your classic scone recipe with the addition of some sourdough starter to create light and fluffy scones with a wonderful tangy flavour.
Here at BAKO North Western we know it takes quality ingredients to create delicious baked goods and we stock a variety of ingredients to make baking perfect sourdough that little bit easier; you can take a look at our product list here.
Have you ever taken on the challenge of homemade sourdough, if so, what do you serve it with? You can tell us all about your experiences on our Twitter.