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The Sourdough Process
How is the sourdough bread made?
The process starts the day before with the mixing of the leaven (sourdough culture) which ferments for almost nine hours. Then, it is at least another six hours from mixing everything together to the first hot loaf of bread; most of that time is resting, allowing the yeast cells to do their work and to develop as much flavour as possible. The time invested in the process is the only way to achieve a loaf with body, flavour and a crust that acts as its own preservative. Keeping close to their product means they understand and allow for any changes there may be in temperature or humidity, it also means each loaf reflects its maker; some may be short, others a little ugly!
Can you tell me about the ingredients?
They bake all their bread on their bakery premises in Abbotsford, using certified organic flours sourced from central NSW and Queensland. Where available and economically realistic they substitute organic produce for conventional ingredients. Loaves are weighed, moulded, slashed and loaded into the oven by hand.
They use Organic stone ground flour which is not only good for the environment, but it also contains more nutrients and minerals such as zinc and magnesium and stone grinding ensures none of the nutritious germ goes to waste.
Here’s an example:
The grain loaf contains stone-ground organic wheat (plain and wholemeal flours), leaven, organic linseed, sunflower kernels, Murray River salt, water, sesame and Vitamin C (to help firm the dough.)
Is it yeast-free?
Their bread is not yeast free as it has many and varied natural yeasts that are present in the leaven (sourdough culture). The leaven itself contains bacteria and yeast that consume starch (present as carbohydrates in the flour) and give off carbon dioxide, allowing the dough to rise while it rests. Although it has no added commercial yeast products.
At Dench Bakers they have been baking artisan style bread since February 2005, when they started supplying the hospitality industry and public from their shop located in Fitzroy North.
Their skilled craftsmen now provide a number of successful and well-known cafes and restaurants with quality hand-made organic sourdough and specialty cakes from their bakery in Abbotsford.
Their bakery is complimented with Dench Café in Fitzroy North and Bread & Jam for Frances in Hawthorn, where quality artisan produce in a relaxed and friendly environment is always at the forefront.
Owners of the bakery and café, John and Tony Dench, a father and son team, actively take a role in the business, from hand-moulding the bread to serving it over the counter and plating the meals, this connection to the consumer is as valuable to us as our passion for creating quality produce.
Organic Stoneground Unbleached Wheat Flour, Water, Natural leaven, Sunflower Kernels, Organic Linseed, Organic Sesame Seed, Murray River Salt, ascorbic acid