Sourdough September at The School of Artisan Food

Everything you knead to know for Sourdough September

Bread-lovers are being invited by the bakers at The School of Artisan Food to rise to the real bread challenge by honing their sourdough skills at quickfire, starter sessions with resident expert, David Carter.

David is running the 2.5-hour, evening workshops at The School on the 12th of September and 9th of November. The workshops take their inspiration from Sourdough September, the month-long event by the Real Bread Campaign to raise awareness of the real thing vs ‘sourfaux’, the name given to inferior mass-produced fake sourdough using cheaper ingredients, additives and baking shortcuts.

“I’m keen to show how easy it can be to make a fantastic loaf. All that’s needed to make real sourdough bread is flour, water, time for the yeasts to develop and a few simple techniques. The flavour is far superior to mass-produced bread and it will last longer too,” he says.

Sharing his tips and secrets to making, looking after and using a sourdough starter, David will finish a part prepared loaf during the workshop. Each of his bakers will get to taste some delicious bread and to take away a small portion of sourdough starter to practice bread baking at home.

Set up to teach all aspects of artisan food production, The School is well placed to share its expertise in the making of ‘real’ bread using the slow fermentation artisan process, which rarely features in the supermarket version of so-called ‘sourdough’.  As there is no legal definition for sourdough or artisan bread, there is little to prevent those terms being used to market any loaf regardless of how it’s made, leading to the Real Bread Campaign to call for better labelling.

Wayne Caddy, Head of Baking at The School of Artisan Food, who has made a series of how to make Sourdough videos for the School’s You Tube channel, explains: “A good sourdough should reflect the character of the grain. It’s the baker’s job to get the best out of the grain. Similar to wine, the grape often determines the character of wine; sourdough bread is no different.

“Dough with very little fermentation, such as a mass produced loaf, contains much higher levels of gluten. If you imagine gluten like an elastic band – tough, strong and resistant – this gives your gut a rigorous workout. Long-term consumption of gluten-rich breads may lead to gluten intolerance.”

To find out more about the courses on offer throughout Sourdough September, visit www.schoolofartisanfood.org

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