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Sourdough breadmakers should 'develop a relationship with the process'

Sourdough is trendy right now, and it should be: It's 'better bread' says local baker
Sourdough bread at HOME Bakehouse Bed Breakfast. Via Facebook

Sourdough bread seems to be the latest trend in the world of food, and Liam White, the baker at HOME Bakehouse Bed Breakfast, says there's good reason for that.

“I started baking as a way to get in good with my mother in law, as a matter of fact, about 15 years ago,” laughed White. “I discovered sourdough about 6 or 7 years ago and just fell in love with it.”

Sourdough bread is said to have higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of phytate, making it easier to digest and healthier than conventional bread. It also contains lower amounts of gluten.

“It’s definitely really trendy right now,” White said. “To me, it’s just a better choice, it’s better bread, it’s real bread. The stuff in the grocery store is not as good. Sourdough is generally considered a more nutrient dense bread too, because of the fermentation process.”

Aside from being a better choice of bread health-wise, it also serves as a great substitute for a soup bowl. 

Home cooks or anyone interested will learn step by step how to make the bread from scratch at a sourdough workshop hosted by HOME as part of the upcoming Fishbowl Festival.

The workshop is currently full, attesting to the current trendiness of sourdough breadmaking.

“They’ll basically learn the whole process from start to finish of taking a starter and making it into a loaf of bread,” White explained. 

“There’s quite a few steps, my bread takes between 12-14 hours from starter to baked loaf. They’ll learn how to use the starter, how to incorporate the flour, how to shape the dough, just the overall process. I’ll basically show them what I do. Baking bread is not like ‘follow the instructions and do this’, especially with sourdough, it’s one of those things where you need to learn the basics of the process and incorporate different kinds of methods and techniques from the overall process to make it your own. So that’s definitely one of the important things that I’ll be teaching. They need to develop a relationship with the process to figure out how to make bread that works for them.”

The brand-new bakehouse is located at 168 March Street. They specialize in sourdough, but also have a varied assortment of treats like butter tarts, mini cheesecakes, and gluten-free cookies.

“We’re always adding things too, like hummus, spinach dips, things that accompany the bread and give people options to pair things. We also do a lot of soups and curries, which have been really popular for us,” said White.

White and his wife Jill opened the bakehouse on December 16.

“Business has been really good. We’ve been really well received. Everybody seems to be pretty happy to have a bakehouse downtown where they can come and get fresh bread and goodies,” he said.