I had fallen in love with the sweet, creamy flavor of bread fermented with wild yeast leaven that contradicts the widespread perception of “sourdough.” I wanted anything but sour bread. – Chad Robertson, Tartine Bread, p.28
On a number of Saturday mornings this summer, we have been riding our bikes to the Farmers’ Market at the mouth of the Humber River.
But it’s not really for the farmers’ produce that we’re headed there….
Initially, it was because an up-market cheese store, The Cheese Boutique, has a table there. Each item on the table is sold for $13 (or three items for $30). Last summer we were getting spectacular Butter Cheese, as well as even more spectacular creamy cambozola. The blue cheese was ambrosial and insanely inexpensive. (An inferior cambozola from the Supermarket was priced at over $60 per kilo; the Cheese Boutique special-value cheese worked out to about $25 per kilo!) Early in this summer, there was the most fabulous, perfectly ripe, Aliments du Québec double cream brie, and a delicious goat milk Dutch-style gouda. The beautiful brie disappeared when it got ridiculously hot in July; our favourite butter cheese appeared in August.
At some point in July, we noticed a large line-up at one of the bakery tables: Soul Bread Company. The bread there looked to be wonderful! But we don’ need somebody else’s stink’n’ bread! We bake our own!
The following Saturday, we arrived at the market area a little later – just in time for lunch and we thought it would be fun to try the Soul Bread Company’s bread. Ha. Nice try. They didn’t have any bread left! Not even a few crumbs….
The next Saturday, T put coffee into a thermos and off we rode, making sure to get to the market area first thing. We got the requisite cheese from the Cheese Boutique and then stood in line to get one pain au chocolat and an almond croissant.
We headed over to sit at a table under the shade of the trees near the high waters of the Humber to have breakfast of coffee and still slightly warm, crispy, light pastries.
Needless to say, our Saturday mornings are now mapped out….
Yesterday morning, as we waited in the long long Soul Bread Company line (about 15 minutes), speculating that other venders were puzzling about why nobody was lining up at their tables in the same way, we suddenly decided to get a loaf of their Sourdough Bread. It is made with white flour, water, and salt.
Each loaf, not much more than 16cm in diameter, is a stunningly beautiful dark dark gold on the outside, with a gorgous cross-hatched score on top. Knowing we might blanch, we didn’t ask the price as we asked the fellow to give us a loaf, as well as our pain au chocolat and almond pastry.
Breakfast of pastries and thermos coffee was just as wonderful as ever….
Last night, after barbecuing pork shoulder, we re-heated the Soul Bread Company loaf on the barbecue. To rejuvenate the crust.
Then we sat down to our usual “eating like royalty” dinner of thinly sliced, barbecued pork shoulder, Ontario corn picked that day, oven-roasted cauliflower and green beans, and herbs from the garden.
And bread. Of course. With fancy olive oil for dipping.
Cutting into the bread, we reveled at that beautiful creaky-cracky sound of the knife sawing through the thick crust and then the silence of the knife as it went through the beautiful soft but not too soft crumb. It sent out the lovely aroma of just-baked bread. And… what else was there? Really???
Sourness! We could smell the sourness! It wasn’t pervasive or horrible. But it was definitely present. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it reminded me of, but T identified it as hints of sauerkraut.
But, in spite of the delicate sour tone, the flavour was very good, with notes of sweetness and smoke. It was like eating dinner when guests had brought bread they had proudly baked at their house.
We really did like the bread. But, at $6.50 (!!) per loaf, I don’t think we’ll be asking for another loaf next Saturday, when we get our pain au chocolat and almond croissant….
We’ll go back to baking our own wild non-sour bread. It’s easily as good, if not better. And, considering that we get 10 kilograms of unbleached “no-additive” all-purpose flour for about $10, our bread is a fraction of the price of the Soul Bread Company sourdough bread.
However, next time we bake bread, at T’s request, I’m going to build up our Jane Mason wholewheat starter with all-purpose flour instead of 100% whole wheat flour. We suddenly want to learn what our wild bread is like if it is made with almost all white flour.
It’s Sourdough September!
This post is to “celebrate the small, independent bakeries that bake genuine sourdough”. Keep baking great bread, Soul Bread Company!
Wild thing, you make my loaf spring
Since 2013, the ninth month of the year is when the Real Bread Campaign goes on a mission to help everyone discover that: life’s sweeter with sourdough!
The aims of #SourdoughSeptember are to:
▪ Share the delicious delights of genuine sourdough
▪ Encourage more people to bake genuine sourdough
▪ Celebrate the small, independent bakeries that bake genuine sourdough
▪ Help people to say no to sourfaux and avoid paying a premium for something that simply isn’t the real deal
▪ Encourage people to join and/or donate to the Real Bread Campaign
Are you in? Great!
– Real Bread Campaign, Sustainweb.org | Sourdough September
Ever wonder how to bake sourdough, but don’t know where to begin? I’m going to tell you a secret: You don’t have to be a professional baker or have a concrete knowledge base to get started. Sourdough can be accessible to anyone. […] I used to think it was some kind of mad science project myself. But in actuality, it’s a technique that can be traced back thousands of years […] It is not necessarily “sour” dough. The flavor can be either mild or tangy, depending on how the starter is cared for and how the dough is made. You won’t find any hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, or preservatives lurking in homemade sourdough-it’s 100% natural.
– Emilie Raffa, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, p.9
» Almost Wordless Not-Wednesday: Not Genuine??? (Sourdough September)
» Tartine Bread: 3rd time’s the charm (and 4th and…)
» Wordless Not-Wednesday: who needs Le Creuset?!
» ISO not-sour Sourdough: We’re getting closer…
» We ♥ Blue Cheese
» The Cheese Stands Alone
» Finally! Wild bread that ISN’T sour
» ISO less sour sourdough bread
» Pasquale Bros: check out the bottom shelf!