What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
I avoid referring to my naturally leavened breads as sourdough because too many people associate sourdough with breads that are indeed sour in flavor and sometimes leave a sharp, vinegary aftertaste. In France, sour bread is probably considered a fermentation mistake, while in San Fransisco, it’s a well-appreciated taste […] My preference is for complex flavors from the grain and fermentations that are subtle, in balance, and not sour.
-Ken Forkish, “Understanding Levain”, Flour Water Salt Yeast, p.122
That’s right. I’m not going to call that bubbling sludge in the jar in the fridge a “sourdough starter” any more.
Here are its new names: “Levain”, “Wild yeast”, “Natural starter”, “Sludge” and “Pet”. But never “sourdough”. Ever again. Shakespeare was wrong. That which we called sourdough starter was giving our bread the wrong idea when it heard the word “sour”. (continue reading )