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The Secret Life of Sourdough

Is it literally sour bread? Well, kinda. Why is everyone talking about it? Cos it’s suh tasty. Where can I get some? Read on!

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Let’s start with some Super Quick Sourdough Facts:

- Made with wild yeast instead of dried yeast (how bread has been made for hundreds of years before dried/commercial yeast)

- Has a complex, tangy flavour thanks to time and fermentation

- Has a chewier and sturdier texture than commercial bread

- The lactic acid produced lowers phytic acid—long story short it supposedly helps with digestion

Mix flour with water, and let it sit. In a few days, you’ll have a bubbly (it’s alive!) sourdough starter, thanks to the wild yeast in the flour. Much like a sourdough starter, with a little time and patience, the sourdough “scene” in Singapore has grown slowly and steadily into a delicious landscape over the last couple of years. (According to Modor Intelligence, the global sourdough market is expected to grow at a rate of 6.9% until 2023—we don’t know what that actually means, but doesn’t it sound like a lot for Bread, a food that is already a staple?)

These funky loaves have taken over our lives here at the Burpple HQ, so we feel it’s time to finally talk about some of ours and the community’s favourites. Hailing from humble home kitchens, tiny bakeries and commercial kitchens, we’re thankful for all the bakers who lovingly and patiently make these toasts, pizzas, loaves and more.

Mark these 9 spots for great sourdough:

Micro Bakery & Kitchen

For Toasts and Loaves near Botanic Gardens

sourdough-microbakery Photo by Burppler Amanda C

Jot this one down for a chill brunch date with your mates. Get their delicious Grilled Cheese on Sourdough ($12) or the popular Smoked Eggplant Tartine ($11) that comes topped with crunchy nuts, honey and juicy tomatoes. Don’t leave without grabbing a loaf of their excellent Seeded ($10) or Buckwheat ($8) loaves. Pro tip: seating is limited with only outdoor tables available, so come early and dress cool-y.

The Humbleground

For Home-baked Cheddar & Pepper Sourdough

sourdough-humbleground

Photo by The Humbleground

Available only through an order list on Instagram, this humble home-based bakery makes sourdough loaves (500g) in seven flavours. The “basic” loaves include the Country White ($8) and 10% Buckwheat ($10), but we cannot get enough of their super tasty Cheddar & Pepper ($12) filled with grated organic British mature white cheddar and freshly cracked Indian pepper, or the savoury Olives & Sundried Tomatoes ($12/500g). Pick your loaves up from 5 Pemimpin Drive, have them delivered for free if you stay within the Bishan and Marymount areas, or via courier service (additional $10-15).

Urban Loaf Factory

For Artisan Sourdough in Alexandra

sourdough-urbanloaf Photo by Urban Loaf Factory

Hidden in quiet mall beside IKEA is a vegan and gluten-free bakery centred around all-natural bread made from their very own sourdough starter. Must-haves include their Dark Chocolate Banana Sourdough ($12 for full, $7 for half) that is naturally sweetened by bananas to balance out the intensity from the dark chocolate and the tang from the sourdough. Other crowd favourite include the Cranberry Walnut ($12 for full, $7 for half) and the Spinach and Cheese Sourdough ($12 for full, $7 for half) that stars yummy spinach pesto and savoury cheddar cheese.

Firebake

For Woodfired Loaves in Katong

sourdough-firebake

Photo by Burppler Pei Qi Saw

For those new to sourdough, sample a variety with the Firebake Bread Board ($10) featuring toasted Wave (white), Field (wholemeal), Rock (rye) and Valley (fruit) slices — extra delicious when paired with Greek extra virgin olive oil and salted Norwegian butter. Full loaves are available for purchase freshly baked from 5 pm onwards. Note that for their tin-loaf Milky ($10) or small loaves Danish ($6.50) and Stangee ($6.50), you have to pre-order 24 hours in advance.

Slow Bakes

For Sourdough Pizza and Loaves in Novena

sourdough-slowbakes Photo by Burppler Muriel AvdH

Yes, sourdough can be enjoyed in pizzas! Come by for their Roasted Peppers Sourdough Pizza ($14.80) that features a tangy sourdough base, roasted pepper slices, tomato sauce, oyster mushrooms, onions and basil. Fans of softer bread, grab the Country Sourdough Loaf ($8) that is nice and tangy while boasting an extra soft and easy finish.

Nick Vina Artisan Bakery

For Foolproof Sourdough in Icon Village

sourdough-nickvina Photo by Nick Vina Artisan Bakery

Made from winter wheat flour and their own cultured sourdough, the loaves here are moulded by and left to prove in wooden cabinets before being baked in stone ovens. If you work in Tanjong Pagar area, stock up your bread supply for the week with their Classic Sourdough ($5.80/500g), it will keep well for two to three days on your counter, or a week in the freezer. Also, try their crusty French Baguette ($3.60) made from non-GMO wheat from Hildesheim!

Mr Kneady’s

For an Affordable, Wide Selection of Sourdough Pizza

sourdough-mrkneady

Photo by Burppler Timtamtum

Gather the squad and drop by for a spread of pizzas. The simple yet delicious tomato-based Space Oddity Pizza ($12) features a crispy yet chewy crust topped with pepperoni, salami and mozzarella. Order the addictive Arlandria ($12) that sees four kinds of cheese smoked mozzarella, brie, gruyere and mozzarella — and a tangy tomato sauce. Yum!

Burnt Ends’ Bakery

For Pop-up Sourdough Doughnuts & Loaves

sourdough-burntends

Photo by Burnt Ends

Stay tuned to Burnt Ends’ Facebook page for updates (usually on Thursdays) on their pop-up bakery at Meatsmith. Other than acquiring as many of their delightful Custard or Hibiscus & Raspberry Jam Doughnuts ($4) as your hands can carry, be sure to try their solid loaves ($10). If you can’t catch them, order a portion while dining at Burnt Ends for a taste of sourdough ($5 a plate)!

Sideways

For Slices with Tasty Dips

sourdough-sideways Photo by Burppler Veronica Phua

On the corner of Rowell Road sits this quaint little restaurant with a huge rosewood timber-burning oven that bangs out quality loaves. Accompany your order of Sourdough ($4) with their signature dips for a truly delicious experience. Get the aromatic Basil and Feta ($9) dip for bright flavours, the very punchy Smoked Eggplant and Peppers ($7) if you like spice, or keep it simple with the Black Bean Hummus ($8) dip. If you like, whole loaves are available for purchase as well!

Mother Dough

For Loaves & Savoury Flatbreads

sourdough-motherdough

Photo by Burppler Muriel MvdH

Come early if you wish to get your hands on the handcrafted bakes at this Muslim-owned bakery — they sell out fast! On weekends, pop by for their savoury Flatbread ($9/slice, $20+ for whole). Their Sourdough loaves (from $8) are available from Friday to Sunday only and make for excellent sandwich bread. If you desperately need some now, Burppler Muriel MvdH recommends their Mini Baguette (available every day, $2). Have this within a day of purchase to properly enjoy its crusty exterior. P.s. Their super popular Croissant Almond ($4) is a must-try. It’s perfectly flaky and filled with an almond cream that’s not too sweet. Have yours with coffee for the perfect tea-time.

Honorable Mentions

Starter Lab Singapore: Hailing from Bali, this soon-to-open bakery is highly anticipated!

Bread Yard: Sitting in Galaxis, this cafe has sourdough slices with customisable grain bowls (hummus included!).

Le Bon Funk & RVLT: Although both these natural wine bars don’t sell loaves, come by and enjoy a night of true fermentation fun with funky natural wines and sourdough by the plate.