Sourdough bread is made from natural yeast and bacteria in flour. Early settlers in the west used sourdough to leaven bread when commercial baking powder and yeast were not available. It is a deeply caramelized bread, with an artistically slit tops and has a modest rise that was fermented using natural and wild yeast.
Sourdough bread has a fascinating history. Researchers believed that sourdough is one of the oldest forms of leavened bread and was even used by ancient Egyptians.
They theorized that it was discovered by accident when the dough was left by accident and microorganisms such as wild yeast drifted into the mix. The resulting product was a bread that was lighter in texture and tasted better.
The sourdough bread has a signature tartness from the natural bacteria and yeast similar to what gives yogurt sour taste.
Traditional sourdough recipes only have three necessary ingredients, sourdough starter, a mixture of flour and water, salt and flour. The traditional recipe does not have milk, oils, yeast and sweeteners just the natural and necessary ingredients.
The sourdough starter is often prepared 3-4 days prior using flour and potato water. It is fermented using a porous cheesecloth and left near an open window away from direct sunlight. It should start to ferment and have a sour and sweet aroma.
The best sourdough bread in Australia
The Lost Loaf, at Plant 4 Market at Bowden in Adelaide has been making great sourdough. Emma Shearer, a former pastry chef at Magill Estate, spends three days making the sourdough and is usually a sellout.
The Honey Thief Bakery in Melbourne uses a special artisanal Laucke flour for their award-winning sourdough bread. Simultaneously, the Wildlife bakery in Brunswick East experiments with heirloom Australian wheat makes their naturally fermented sourdough loaves.
While in Sydney, Iggy’s in Bronte produces naturally leavened sourdough bread that has supplied many of the city’s top restaurants such as Monopole and Bistro Guillaume. In a hole in the wall bakeshop in Dulwich Hill named Baked by Keiren. Keiren Mackay places much emphasis on their handcrafted pastries, especially the 72-hour-long sourdough.
At Canberra’s most sought after baked goods, the Silo Bakery owner Leanne Gray has a magnificent way with bread. Their most popular artisan bread is the walnut sourdough baguette. On the other hand, Iggy’s Bread Bakery in Sydney has a signature hearth-baked sourdough made from organic, local and in-season ingredients. The bakery has the zen, serene and sacred vibe that makes for a sensational loaf of bread.
In Brisbane, Danny’s bread is known for their wholewheat multigrain and white sourdough made from organic flour from Gunnedah and Murray River salt. On the other hand, Melbourne’s Wood Frog bakery is known for their bubbly crust Sourdough loaves with heavenly lightness and chewy texture. The great sourdough loaves are the result of a lengthy fermentation and using naturally occurring yeast.
Mary Street Bakery in Perth is popular with their buttermilk pancakes, chia pudding and pork schnitzel. The bakery also bakes an assortment of delicious bread such as rye, semi polenta and sourdough bread.