We might eat products made from the fermentation processes such as chocolate, yogurt, or fish sauce. Have you already eaten sourdough?
Chances are, you have… at least under the form of sourdough bread. Sourdough is the oldest form of leavened bread.
Sourdough is the result of spontaneous fermentation. It is created from the natural reaction happening between flour, water, yeast, and bacteria present in the air. Yeasts are living beings, consuming food, respiring, and reproducing. When yeasts encounter flour and water, they find the food needed to grow and proliferate. As it respires, it breathes and exhales Co2, which is what makes the bread rise.
Sourdough is used by adding a piece of the sourdough (also called “starter”, or “mother”) to the bread. It will give the bread its tangy, slightly acidic “traditional” taste (at least for Europeans). The remaining “starter” will regenerate provided it will be fed properly to stay alive.
Sourdough bears the characteristics of the specific place where it has been done and what it has been fed. All sourdoughs taste unique, for they are impacted by their terroir, much like chocolate and wine. For some bakers, sourdough is their secret ingredient transmitted from generation to generation, giving a unique taste to their bread.
Because sourdough is so intimately intertwined with the essence of being a baker, Puratos created in 2013 the first sourdough library in the world. For Karl de Smedt, the curator of this unique collection, “Working with sourdough is part art, part science”.
Because we share the same passion for fermentation and love the spirit behind that project, we will soon have a sourdough library in HCMC for you to visit and collect a piece of starter for your nutritious bread.
You can also learn more with this interesting article on the New York Times HERE