Even something as simple as toast can be very special, whether eaten on its own, with a little jam, or topped with some ripe avocado and slow roasted tomatoes. I love the flavour and texture of sourdough bread and ours is made from 100% organic ingredients by Irene Garland at Greengates Bakery, just down the road in Frogatt.
Making sourdough bread is a lengthy process which is how it develops its wonderful flavour and texture. No conventional yeast is used, it rises with the aid of a ‘starter’; a simple mixture of wholemeal flour and water which harnesses the power of wild yeasts that naturally occur in the environment.
Irene starts the process two days before baking, taking the starter out of the fridge and ‘feeding’ it with more flour and water. By the next day this batter-like mixture has started fermenting and is mixed with white bread flour and more water to form the dough. This is left to rise, knocked back to a small size, and left to rise again several times until Irene is satisfied it has the right consistency to be shaped into loaves and left overnight in special baskets for their final rise.
Every batch behaves differently so baking in this way takes a huge amount of skill and dedication, Irene often gets up at 4am to finally bake the loaves. Some of this variation is due to the weather, the temperature and humidity, but changes in the flour and the wild yeast also have their effects. Whilst this isn’t the easiest way to make bread, it is well worth the effort and we consider ourselves very lucky to have such a talented baker on our doorstep.
If you too love our sourdough toast and want some of your own you can buy it (and a variety of other bread made by Irene) from Grindleford Community Shop every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
link to Irene’s details on the shop web site here; http://www.grindlefordvillageshop.co.uk/artisan-bread/4587972808