Naturally Fermented Sourdough
Barefoot Sommelier’s Barefoot Bread
Naturally Fermented Sourdough Bread
Naturally fermented sourdough comes from a complex living culture that produces lactic acid and CO2 by changing starches into sugars that feed the wild yeast cultures, weakening the gluten (producing a denser bread) and will generally last longer than other bread because of the lower acidity which is inhospitable to many molds and bacteria. Barefoot Bread can last around a week at room temperature when stored properly.
People with gluten intolerances (Not Celiac) generally can eat sourdoughs with little or no discomfort as the gluten is weakened by the fermentation process.
Supermarket sourdough products are usually not biological in the sense that no fermentation has happened. The sour taste has been produced by adding dried or liquid form lactic acid and Lactobacillus culture.
True sourdough starts with a culture of flour and water that has been inoculated naturally or artificially with yeast (usually wild/local as Barefoot’s is). This culture takes one to three weeks to populate the flour and water mixture and start producing a bubbling frothy mass of living bacteria
Once the wild yeast population has shown it’s presence the starter must be ‘fed’ a new mix of flour and water daily or it dies over a few days.
The Start of the Bread Making Process
From this starter it is now possible to make the leaven which is the basis for the bead. Starter is mixed into a fresh flour/water mixture and set aside for 5 hours or more to produce an active mixture much like the starter.
The pre-mix dough is made by adding more flour and water and mixing thoroughly till there’s now lumps or dry spots (We do it all by hand). This is left for at least a half hour (depending on the type of flour) then salt and a touch more water is added and mixed in thoroughly by hand once again then set aside to rest for an hour.
For the next three hours the dough will be stretched by hand and rested repeatedly till the dough increases in volume and the dough acquires a silky fondant texture.
The dough is then set aside to rest and then is portioned, shaped and rested overnight to rise. Early in the morning the bread is baked, packaged still warm and delivered to you.
The entire process takes 36 hours and cannot be duplicated by any other means. It is the very definition of ‘slow food’ but more rewarding than most.