As a result of an eight week social media campaign to find the King or Queen of Sourdough. Hobbs House Bakery hosted a baking day to celebrate the weekly winners with the aim to find an outright winner.. Tom of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, lead the day, aided by Trevor, his father, who has shared his thoughts and photographs.
I was apprehensive, what would these winning people think of our own capabilities in crafting bread from a sourdough culture. It is true we have experience of using sourdough culture over many years, however, we do not always have the luxury of refining techniques, in the need to make sourdough bread on a bigger scale.
My worries were baseless; here were a group of very proficient bakers keen to learn not only from us but more importantly from each other. The highlight of the day was when each of the winners, revealed the bread that they had brought with them and shared their methods and the vision they each had for the perfect loaf.
We learnt about autolyse (delayed salt method) and poolish (sourdough starter) and secrets about oven temperatures and dough handling techniques. There seemed to be a leaning towards the traditional French levain process for making good sourdough bread alongside the usual methods used to give the bread a stronger sourdough taste.
The day was drawn to a close by sharing pizza made with the sourdough that we made earlier as bases. We topped, and baked our own pizzas on the sole of the wood-fired oven in Nailsworth and shared our experiences. It was agreed that Ali @tartination was a worthy winner and we wished him all the best in his plan to make a sustainable sourdough bakery in Bristol. We all wended our way home satisfied that we now knew that sharing sourdough cultures and real bread was a force for good.