Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Happy Sourdough September!

We're celebrating Sourdough September with a little insight into our very own Long fermentation, sourdough loaf - Pain au Levain.

After visiting France on family holidays Jane and Alan began to realise that it's allure was down to three things; the sun, the wine and the bread.... A break away from the hustle and bustle of working life also became a break away from doughy, tasteless, manufactured bread that had become common place in Britain. A holiday to France welcomed a choice of breads full of flavour, satisfyingly crunchy and with a texture that stood its own. This is where the Davis's love of bread began, not only did it inspire Alan to bake at home for his children but also inspired the foundation of the Authentic Bread Company, now in its 19th year of trading. 

Sourdoughs occur frequently throughout the regions of France, so Alan decided to bring back some of the tastes and textures he had come across with his Pain au Levain recipe. Firstly a sourdough starter is created from fermented vine fruits, utilising the wild, natural yeasts in the atmosphere. There is no added yeast instead the wild yeasts in the starter help the dough to rise and produce those sweet-sour notes that sourdoughs are so famous for. After the starter is mixed with water, Spelt and White flours the Pain au Levain is alowed to rise slowly and gently with two fermentations for over 6 hours. This long fermentation creates the soft open texture within the bread. Spelt flour is an ancient form of wheat lower in gluten than other flours and delivers a beautifully nutty taste. The final result should be a rustic loaf, rich in both colour and flavour. 

So how does Alan like to eat his Sourdough? " the recipe, unadulterated, slightly toasted with lashings of butter and perhaps a glass of rose on the side.."

So embrace the Sourdough and learn to love it's unique flavour, you won't find anything quite like it.

Top tip: Often plastic packaging and age can cause the crust to become a little tough. A great tip is to sprinkle the crust with a little water and place in a low oven for 10 minutes. The result will be beautifully crusty bread with renewed vigor, just like the day it was baked!