Here at Cocoa & Heart, our Sourdough Bread Baking Courses are amongst our most popular bread making workshops we run. People new to sourdough making and those enquiring about booking are naturally often keen to learn more about what makes sourdough bread so different to any other breads.
When I run my sourdough bread baking courses, I often get asked criptical questions from my curious students. The answers to some of the questions like: 'Is sourdough bread gluten free ?' initially seem very obvious, but strangely enough when you dig a little deeper the answer is not that clear cut.
So, first of all to satisfy your curiosity to know whether sourdough bread is gluten free, well, of course it depends on what type of flour you use! Since it's very difficult to bake a true sourdough bread from completely gluten free flour, traditional sourdough breads are not gluten free.
Based on my 18 years of experience of baking bread for my family, friends and customers, here are my favourite tips on getting each loaf perfect every time.
How to get your bread perfect every time!
It’s interesting how people are often very confident when baking cakes and bakes, but when it comes to baking bread people think it’s some sort of black art, where everything needs to be just spot on and all measured perfectly.
To some extent that’s true, but once you master a few basic things, bread baking is actually a lot more forgiving than making cakes.
If you are just getting started with baking your own sourdough bread, you might be wondering what to do with your discarded sourdough starter. Nearly all sourdough bread recipes I've seen, just say 'make sure you feed your sourdough starter regularly, by discarding half of your sourdough starter and replacing it with fresh flour and water'.
There are so many different recipes for sourdough starter. And because of that, it's hardly surprising that when you are just starting to bake your own bread, it can be very confusing to know which recipe is the best one to choose.
I have to admit that although sourdough bread baking is a bit of a science, I've never been too worried about the exact proportions, ingredients and optimal temperatures. Sure it all helps, but it's more important to understand what's behind all of this, and not to worry too much about the perfect recipe for successful sourdough starter. My own sourdough bread starter, which is about 15 years old, is a mixture of all different flours and we always use it in my sourdough bread baking course.