All about wild breads
These breads are wild, made with levain or sourdough that contains no commercial yeast, only naturally occurring yeasts and friendly bacteria. Wild yeast and bacteria are nurtured in a culture and fed each day with flour and water to maintain a harmonious balance. Wild yeast provides the leavening to raise the loaf and various strains of lactobacillus bacteria provide the flavour.
The ambient yeast and bacteria in one area will naturally differ from another, bringing subtle differences in the finished loaf. This is why we call our leading levain bread ‘Bristol Sourdough’.
The benefits of using levain:
- Enhanced flavour. The naturally occurring micro organisms in levain contribute to the development of flavour and eating quality.
- Increased lifespan. The lower ph level of sourdough improves the keeping quality of the loaf and inhibits the development of mould.
- Improved nutritional value. The lactobacilli and ascorbic acid present in levain help to neutralised phytic acid, a substance that occurs in bread that inhibits mineral absorption by the body.
Levain bread brings us in touch with the ephemeral nature of life. It appears an act of alchemy, nothing short of a miracle, that the simple ingredients of flour, salt and water can be transformed into wholesome nourishing and life sustaining bread.