I’ll never forget the very first time I sunk my teeth into a slice of ‘real’ sourdough bread. It was in the mid 90’s in a quaint little bakery in the lovely city of Portland Maine in the USA, the name of which now escapes me. I don’t want to seem over zealous when I say that my notion of bread was immediately transformed – the crust, the crumb the bold earthy flavours – all of this made for quite a hallmark food experience. I was raised on copious slices of government-standard brown bread, which in that moment I realised just wasn’t the real deal. Once you have tasted a good sourdough, or any other artisan bread made using wholegrain flour for that matter, the tasteless, homogeneous commercial stuff that you find in supermarkets simply doesn’t suffice.
Back in those days the artisan bread culture had yet to make it to our South African shores, but when it finally did several years later, it rose swiftly and now we boast many outstanding artisan bread bakeries in town’s and cities across the country. They are as fashionable as hipsters with beards and man buns! The culture of “real” artisan bread has become so popular in fact, that millions of bread lovers around the world are now trying their hand at making it at home. The gazillion bread posts that dominate Instagram feeds is testament to this. Artisan bread baking is the definitely new cool.
The beginning of any sourdough bread baking journey can prove to be a daunting one for many. Despite the fact that only a few basic ingredients are employed in the making of real bread (wholegrain flour, water, salt) , there is definite methodology involved and it takes time, a good technique and a good dollop of patience to successfully harness the magic of wild yeast. But with anything, practise and perseverance is definitely the recipe for success. One of our customers, Ferdinand Malan, shared with us his honest sourdough journey, complete with all the flops and failures.
This is FC Malan’s story….
“I’ve been on a mission to learn to bake a decent loaf of sourdough and wanted to share my progress with you. (Keep in mind I’ve been a commercial flour boy my whole life.) I’ve been using only Eureka Mills flours for this journey 🙂