Many Rex friends tried sourdough breads in their orders this week – we hope you liked what you tasted!  

We wanted to explain more about how complex Sourdough bread is to produce.   It is very unlikely to produce a sourdough culture which has the same rising power of a commercial yeast culture. So to create a loaf which is light enough for customers to want to eat, two things are very important.

  1. Firstly a sourdough culture really needs nurturing.  The Rex Baker now has 5 kids, the three human ones you may have come across in Little Chalfont  plus his two sourdoughs. Every day they need feeding and refreshing. If he was to neglect them, it could end up with a very sour winey smelling mixture with little vigour.
  2. The dough must be left for a very long period to get it to rise. The very welcome side effect of all that waiting, is a really special texture and taste to the bread, as the sourdough yeast culture has had loads of time to feed on the flour changing the very nature of it into to other compounds and also making it more digestible.

It is because it is much harder work to get a decent loaf and takes so much time, that sourdough is a more premium product.  Here’s the Rex Bakery sourdough timeline:

  • Day 1: Build and feed existing sourdough culture to increase vigour and create correct flavour balance
  • Day 2:  Increase volume of sourdough culture so can be used to make many loaves.
  • Day 2 + 4 hrs: Mix sourdough bread dough & leave in bulk to start fermenting.
    artisan bread, sourdough, banneton, dough
  • Day 2 + 7 hrs:   Divide sourdough bread dough into loaf weights (generally Rex Bakery weighs sourdough to 500g to be at least 400g after baking) and place into floured bannetons.  Leave covered at room temperature
  • Day 2 + 8hrs: Place all of the dough filled bannetons into a special type of refrigerator, called a RETARDER, set at 5c, for overnight slow rise.
  • Day 3: Remove dough filled bannetons from retarder and leave covered at room temperature for up to 5 hours, until the loaves have risen sufficiently for baking.
  • Day 3 + 5 hrs: Bake loaves for around 30 minutes at 220c.

baking, bread in oven, sourdough, artisan bread, loaves

So the whole process does take 3 busy days – so we appreciate your early email orders to get the quantity right for each weekend bake.   Have a great week! xx