Sourdough is Silicon Valleys latest craze could I beat the coders and bake the perfect loaf?
Bread is back, baby! Tech bros are documenting their attempts to achieve the ideal crumb, but does the careful, scientific approach work?
When in January the New Yorker declared a comeback for bread, it was greeted as the giddy limit of fake trendspotting. Phew, said the world. Thank God. I havent eaten bread in decades. Ive been waiting for this moment all my life. But there was a bead of truth; starting in Silicon Valley and radiating outwards, a little bit like whats that thing? Oh yes, the internet sourdough had carved the most amazing space for itself in the culture. Proper coders brains were lavishing their downtime on finding ways to track the fermentation of their starter culture and then make graphs about it. Instagram is laden with tender crumb shots (it is what it sounds like), people couldnt delight more in the miracles of this alchemy than if it were neolithic times and bread had only just been invented.
Bread has always been a staple, some magic combination of ease of production, ease of distribution, ease of storage, ease of sale and ease of use. But for these very reasons, it fell out of fashion, and into the category of guilty pleasure. Set snobbery about the mass market alongside the great anti-carb movement that has been tweaked but never abandoned since the late 80s, and bread had in recent years become fatally compromised, like elastication, like nylon, like a Happy Shopper or an arcade terminally uncool. The most timeless and delicious bread products known to humanity baguettes, crumpets were not enough to rescue it. That is until sourdough brought bread back from the dead.
The principle of sourdough is that, instead of using dried, instant yeast, you use a wild yeast that you have grown yourself: the sourdough starter, or leaven. The starter acts differently on the grain to bakers yeast. Certainly, people who are intolerant to wheat seem to tolerate sourdough better, even though, obviously, it also contains wheat.
At its simplest, you mix rye flour and water in equal amounts, leave it for one day, add more flour and water, leave for another day, then throw away half and add yet more flour and water, repeating every day until your once-inert flour soup is topped with bubbles. At this point you will have created a living thing, a starter that is aerating as the bacteria within it compete for nutrients – the fermentation process has begun. Like a Tamagotchi, it takes an insane amount of tending. I was disheartened by constant throwing away of dough what was wrong with the last lot? and bemused by the random suggestions I found on the web. Why should I add a teaspoon of yoghurt? What joker started his leaven with rhubarb? The questions piled up, highly technical and curiously unengaging, which is why the tech bros love sourdough so much, and Silicon Valley is lousy with $600 proofing baskets.
Hi my name is Kareem Maize and welcome to my personal blog. I am 26 year old musician and information technology professional with a passion for learning new aspects of life everyday. On my journey to express myself I began blogging to share my ideas with others. Now I intend to write fun, interesting, and engaging content for my viewers to help them grow spiritually, physically, and mentally . The concept of belief systems and the law of attraction peak my interest!!! I believe blogging about my personal experiences, beliefs, and ideas is the best way to achieve these goals!!!