Sourdough bread is possibly one of the most ancient and oldest methods of making bread in the world, and involves four simple ingredients - flour, water, salt, and sourdough starter or wild yeast. So why is sourdough bread so expensive compared to regular bread? Let's find out!
We at Samyara's Den have been making sourdough bread using our in-house whole wheat sourdough starter since April 2020. What started out as a hobby has now scaled into a full fledged business in the City of Pearls, Hyderabad.
Sourdough bread is special because it is made using a sourdough starter, which is a mixture of flour and water that has been fermented with wild yeast and beneficial bacteria. This starter is used in place of commercial yeast to leaven the bread, and gives sourdough its characteristic tangy flavor and chewy texture. The fermentation process also makes sourdough bread more easily digestible than bread made with commercial yeast.
Sourdough bread is often considered to be better than regular bread because of its unique flavor, texture, and nutritional profile. The fermentation process that occurs when making sourdough bread helps to break down the gluten, making it more easily digestible for some people who may have difficulty tolerating regular bread.
The fermentation process also creates beneficial bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria, that can improve gut health. Sourdough bread also tends to have a longer shelf life than regular bread because the acidity created by the fermentation process slows down the growth of mold. Additionally, the flavor of sourdough bread is often considered to be more complex and satisfying than that of regular bread.
The time it takes to make sourdough bread can vary depending on a number of factors, including the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, the strength of your sourdough starter, and the specific recipe you are using. However, in general, the process of making sourdough bread can be broken down into several stages:
Preparing the sourdough starter: Once you have an active culture of wild yeast, or as we often call it - sourdough starter - you need to feed it and help it reach it's peak activity. This can take anywhere between 3 to 8 hours, depending on the strength of your starter and ambient temperature. The warmer it is, the faster your starter grows.
Mixing the dough: This typically takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on the recipe and the equipment you are using.
Fermentation: The first fermentation, known as the bulk fermentation, usually takes around 2 to 8 hours, but can vary depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen.
Shaping the dough: This typically takes around 15-20 minutes.
Second fermentation: This typically takes around 2 to 4 hours and involves a process called stretch and fold. This process is usually done in intervals of 30 to 60 minutes for up to 4 times and helps build strength in your dough.
Cold Fermentation: This process, also known as cold retardation is the process of shaping your loaf and fermenting it in the refrigerator for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours. This technique brings out better flavor in your sourdough bread and also helps it hold it's shape better while baking, resulting in a wonderful oven spring.
Baking the bread: This typically takes around 30-60 minutes, depending on the size and shape of the loaf and the type of oven you're using.
In total, the process of making sourdough bread can take anywhere between 2 to 4 days and the results are just so very rewarding!
Just remember! There are no shortcuts to making a good sourdough bread. Commercial sourdough breads in supermarkets are usually treated with commercial additives to speed up the process of fermentation, and also use commercial yeast and preservatives to prolong their shelf life, so in reality, it's not a real or authentic sourdough bread.
To truly enjoy good sourdough bread, search for your local bakers that make a traditional sourdough loaf, and if you're in Hyderabad, well, you have us! Samyara's Den - Baking authentic sourdough bread for the Everyday You!
Hyderabad Only: Order Online Now! Click Here!