Here at Canterbury Baking School, Sourdough is our speciality! Sourdough is the oldest known form of leavened bread, and was widespread in the Middle Ages before yeast took over. Sourdough is made from just three ingredients; water, salt, and flour. This makes it one of the healthiest and most natural breads you can have!
We’re proud to continue using sourdough, carrying on a baking tradition that has been going for thousands of years! But why do we use sourdough?
Being so rich in nutrients, sourdough bread contains several benefits for your body. It is high in iron, zinc and magnesium, and also contains B-Vitamins. The fermentation process for sourdough also creates lactic acid, which allows the body to better absorb the nutrients and vitamins in the bread.
Sourdough is also a low GI bread, meaning its energy is released into the body more slowly and evenly; perfect for breakfast ahead of a hard day! Sourdough may also be suitable for some people with gluten problems as the techniques involved help break down the gluten in wheat flour!
One of the defining features of sourdough is the need for a “starter”. This is made from flour and water, and is used to capture and cultivate wild yeast, which produces the bacteria that helps ferment our dough. This naturally occurring bacteria, called lactobacilli, produces the lactic acid in sourdough bread. The starter also helps develop the flavour and texture of the finished loaf.
A starter must be carefully maintained, and needs to be “fed” more flour and water during the fermenting process. This encourages the starter to keep the yeast active until it is time to bake the loaf. The starter can take between five and seven days to ripen, and prefers cooler temperatures during the feeding process. This ensures that your completed sourdough loaf will be incredibly tasty, with a unique flavour and texture!
Sourdough is an incredibly versatile and tasty bread. We have also made sourdough bagels, sourdough pizzas, and sourdough pancakes!
Fancy trying your hand at sourdough? Why not sign up for one of our workshops! Our next one is on the Sunday 25th June. To book a workshop, click here.