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For the Loaf of Sourdough

Tangy, healthy and downright delicious, sourdough is hot on the bread scene. Here’s what you knead to know.

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It’s likely you’ve spotted one of these round, globe-like loaves on bakery shelves, or taken a bite out of a funky-smelling slice. Whether you’re a health-conscious bread eater or simply a lover of all things bread, sourdough is the bake to be toasting to today. Typically darker in colour, the loaf is hard to miss with its holey centre and remarkably tangy aroma. And while its sourish note sounds a little out there, the bread pairs exceptionally well with almost everything — butter and sea salt, lusciously runny eggs, as well as with meat and cheese.

These leavened loaves go back thousands of years (or so we hear), when natural fermentation was the only way to make bread. Now that it’s back on the rise, sourdough is often considered an artisanal bake due to the time (days!!) and effort that go into making it. Classic sourdough sees only three simple ingredients: flour, water and microorganisms. The process begins with a “starter” — a mixture of flour and water that’s left out in a warm place to ferment, resulting in the birth of natural yeast and bacteria. This magical, living thing of a starter (which many sourdough bakers affectionately refer to as their babies) is added to the dough. After it has been left to rise for a few hours, the dough’s popped into the oven. The result? An airy and deliciously tangy loaf, full of holes in the middle and a springy crust that holds it together. Its microbial nature comes with other great benefits too. Fermented goods are known to produce good-for-the-gut probiotics, and the all-natural process means the bread sits better with those with gluten sensitivity.

But our favourite, most amazing trait about sourdough? Its unpredictability. Our own baker friends tell us that every time you get one, you can very surely expect it to be different from that last loaf you had. Think of sourdough like a... sponge. Beyond all the elements the baker can control, this living, breathing dough takes on the air it’s baked in, the kitchen it lives in, even the loving hands that knead it to life. Isn’t that a wonder? Now, hit us with another slice.

Where to fall in loaf with sourdough:

Tommy Le Baker
For an extra tangy sourdough that goes with everything — soup, cheese, salmon, you name it!

Table & Apron
For early morning sourdough with crunchy apples.

Li
For a light and airy loaf to go with sous vide kaya.

Simplicite
For yummy ribeye sourdough baguettes.

Yin’s Sourdough Bakery
For pocket-friendly sourdough from a Penang favourite.

One Half
For fun-sized sourdough to go with excellent coffee.


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