Shepherd’s Sourdough: Good Things Take Time
New additions to the Harvest Hub range
Bread was first “leavened” by Egyptians approximately 6000 years ago. Leavened bread begins with a “starter” of combined flour and water which is slowly fermented over many hours. It wasn’t until the 1950s that commercialisation of bread started to revolutionise the bread making process.
Driven by mass production (and profit), large bread manufacturers started fast tracking the production process by adding the likes of commercial yeast, extra gluten, fats to improve crumb softness, reducing agents to help stretch the dough, emulsifiers to produce bigger, softer loaves and preservatives to extend the shelf life.
Affect on Modern Diet
Many have argued that processed (or fast made) bread has had an adverse effect on the modern diet and may have contributed to ailments such as gluten intolerance, obesity, diabetes and other allergenic conditions.
What is Sourdough?
Most of us have heard the term “Sourdough”, perhaps in fancy gourmet magazines or cook shows, but what exactly is it and why is it good for us?
Sourdough bread is made using a natural “leaven” (fermented flour and water) which contains wild yeast (in the air we breathe) and good bacteria (lactobacillus). The leaven is added to the dough enabling it to rise in a slow and natural way, whilst producing a slight “sour” flavour. Shepherd’s leaven (often referred to as “starter”) is constantly replenished and has survived for over 20 years, giving Shepherd’s bread a distinct texture and flavour.
There is no legal definition of sourdough, however, Shepherd’s sourdough bread is made without the use of commercial yeast, refined sugar, dairy or egg products and is fermented for 8-12 hours. They use organic flour sourced from local farmers. The bread is skilfully scoured and dusted to give it a unique aesthetic appearance. They don’t add any preservatives, additives, colouring or emulsifiers to enhance the bread or give it a longer shelf life. You don’t need that stuff. We’ve managed ok for thousands of years. So, why change it?
Now available from Harvest Hub
After trialing the Easter Hot Cross Buns (as a one-off) and Gluten Free Banana Bread (as a permanent addition to the range), we’re now releasing 5 different sourdough loaves. None contain any artificial ingredients, and all of them are made using traditional sourdough methods.
We decided to only make them available as sliced loaves to increase the ‘convenience’ appeal for families. We believe that kids should grow up eating good sourdough bread to help build an effective digestive system. Avoiding commercial bread with artificial additives will help reduce the chance of developing diabetes and gluten intolerance.
For now, we’re making available:
- a crusty Italian,
- a wholemeal,
- a 7-Grain loaf and
- a German rye with sunflower seeds.
Gluten-Free & Spelt range coming
Over the coming weeks, we’ll add a Gluten-Free range as well as some Spelt-based loaves.
Available at www.harvesthub.com.au