Posted on

Sourdough bread: yes, but not just any

Sourdough bread has enjoyed a comeback in our bakeries for a few years now. But be warned: not all sourdough loaves are created equal!

Let’s first recap the basics: to make bread, you need water, flour, salt and an ingredient that triggers the fermentation of the dough. That ingredient usually is baker’s yeast or sourdough, and sometimes even a mix of both…

Sourdough in short

Sourdough is produced from mixing flour and water and leaving wild yeast and lactic bacteria, that are naturally present in the flour and the ambient atmosphere, to work…

After a few days of fermentation, you obtain sourdough. As a living element, sourdough must be regularly fed with water and flour to be conserved and to survive. It must also be preserved in a stable environment (temperature, humidity…).

From ancient techniques to industrialisation

Known since ancient Egypt, sourdough was the only resource the baker had to make his bread rise in the past. In the 19th century the development of industrial baker’s yeast released him from the restrictions of this natural ingredient that is not always easy to control and requires constant attention.

The chef Eric Michaux is feeding the sourdough.

For 150 years, sourdough almost completely disappeared from our bakeries… before its strong comeback and rediscovery of its flavour properties and its digestible nature. With one major difference: it is not systematically produced by the baker as it was in the past. Industrial solutions such as dried powder sourdough, ready to use liquid sourdough or concentrated sourdough were developed by the industry to make the baker’s work easier.

Not all sourdough is alike

There are no regulations on the name “sourdough bread” in Belgium. You can be sold sourdough bread that is not actually made with naturally produced sourdough, but that contains industrial powder sourdough with added enhancers for example.

In France, on the other hand, the recipe of sourdough bread is regulated: the term is reserved for bread that does not contain more than 0.2% yeast, with a minimum of 20% active sourdough.

Our sourdough: only homemade

At Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette, we produce our own sourdough (white and brown) in specially designed machines (Tradilevain). They are fed with the same flour, free from any additives and enhancers, as our bread: that originating from Triti-Sano wheat grown at Villers l’Evêque, and with spring water.

To rise our bread and viennoiseries, we use our homemade sourdough, with a hint of yeast and not a single additive. And in addition we also propose 100% sourdough brown and white bread. Why not try them yourself!