28 June, 2021
The One about the Sourdough
As much as I love cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I have never been interested in baking. But when the hard lockdown hit last year, I was quickly pulled in by everyone on social media showing off their home-baked products. I experienced a bit with Challah making and learned to plait, which could come in handy in future with Zaria’s hair. But when I started to ferment a starter from Old Vine Chenin (1977), I immediately felt more at ease with the process and back in known territory. DoughBelix I named my starter, and after a few weeks of nurturing, it was ready for my very own Sourdough!
Just like winemaking, Sourdough takes time and lots of dedication. The gentle fold-over (tartine method) process reminds me of slowly stirring the lees in the barrel. Now working with cooler climate Chardonnay, I learned not to overwork the bâtonnage process but only stirred the lees monthly during Winter.
Folding the dough takes around 6 hours with an additional 18 hours rest period in the fridge. In the end, the final touch of scoring the dough gives you the chance to ‘dress’ your bread similar to that of wine packaging.
Equally satisfying is the taste of a slice of warm bread, as it is to enjoy a glass of your wines.
It’s been a year of baking, and I hope to be breaking more bread with family & friends in the next year!