frequently asked questions
WHAT IS SOURDOUGH BREAD AND WHY IS “BREAD AND FLOURS” DIFFERENT?
Currently, in the USA there is no legal classification for "sourdough" bread. It is then up to everyone's own interpretation, be it bakers baking your sourdough or customers purchasing sourdough loaves. At Bread and Flours, our sourdough process models the most natural and historic way of creating “true” sourdough that has been used for centuries. We start by taking natural yeast that is found in the air; and cultivating these yeast cells by capturing them in a mixture of flour and water, creating a colony of wild yeast. This is called a “starter” or sourdough culture. These yeast cells are used to leaven all of our sourdoughs at Bread and Flours, “naturally” with the benefit of time. For Bread and Flours, the use of the word “naturally” means we do not intervene in the process on a cellular level with our sourdough. Each sourdough culture is similar to our fingerprints, different and unique; as the bacteria on each baker's hands is different, this in part is the reason why each sourdough tastes different at different bakeries or at home. This culture of active yeast cells feeds off of the fresh ground flour creating lactobacilli bacteria. When these yeast cells meet and begin to feed with our fresh ground flour, fermentation begins spontaneously, and it is the start of the fermentation process. When these yeast cells feed, they create carbon dioxide, lactic acids, acetic acids, and ethanol. It is these acids that help to create the “sour” in the sourdough process. To share “sourdough” is not only a flavor profile that occurs in the bread, it is also a process of bread making that includes fermentation and time. This is very important to understand. We choose not to manipulate our sourdough culture. We allow our sourdough culture, " Lupita", to interact with the natural environment. Thus, some days you will have a tangy sour loaf, and sometimes you will have a loaf that does not exude those flavors. We accept this and embrace this. Like nature, our sourdough culture is reacting to the natural environment. At Bread and Flours, this is one of our standards, that we do not intervene with this process on the cellular level with these yeast cells by adding any commercial yeast, instant yeast, rapid rise dry active yeast, or anything to our dough. Fleischmann’s is the company post World War II that produced a single strand of yeast into small granules. The goal was to have bread to come home to for the dinner table. To share, bakers add yeast for many reasons. Some bakers choose to add just a little yeast to “help” their dough rise, this is called “micro-dosing”. Others want to complete their process succinctly so that they can produce more loaves in a timely manner. A cornerstone for Bread and Flours is to refrain from adding packaged yeast, preservatives, or softeners ( enzymes or conditioners that ensure your bread stays soft for days ). Instead, we choose time. The most natural process used. We do not add citric acid, vinegar, enriched flour, ( flour with vitamins added) bleached or bromated flour ( flour with added potassium bromate) which is a banned substance in the European Union, but allowable by the US Food and Drug Administration. Whole. Clean. Pure Ingredients only. We support our community with access to healthy bread.
At Bread and Flours, we bake "bold". This is a term in the baking community to say that there is a crust on the exterior of your loaf which will be crunchy, potentially charred, and may look darker than other loaves you might have experienced. Furthermore, certain grains ( be it rye and others) darken on the outside more than other grains. What? Char...dark...? Should I be scared? Not at all. The char and darkness are a baking preference that generates aromatic compounds and creates flavors from the starches that caramelize to deliciousness called a “Maillard Reaction”. The darkness on the outside of our loaves will reveal a beautiful interior, you will notice that the interior is not overcooked at all. That outer shell also adds nuttiness and flavor with crispy textures that you will find irresistible.
To all the good folks, your bread is not burnt. It has a char that brings out and supports flavors for your loaf.
Trust us, it should taste absolutely delicious both inside and out. We choose health and nutrition always first.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO STORE MY LOAF OF BREAD?
At Bread and Flours, we store our loaves of bread cut side down on a cutting board and slice throughout the day. Or check out getting a bread box, and wrapping your loaf in a linen cloth or a cotton dish towel; then place it in the bread box. By keeping your loaf away from sunlight, heat, and moisture, you can extend the natural process of staling. If you know you are not going to eat it all within a couple of days; then pre-slice it and store it in a compostable freezer bag in your freezer. The flavors should remain equal to the day it was placed into the freezer.
CAN I PURCHASE MY LOAF OF BREAD PRE-SLICED?
Yes. Checkout our Sourdough "Sammie"
The Sourdough Sammie is crafted specifically to be put through our commercial bread slicer.
Softer with a very light crust.
We do not pre-slice our Artisan loaves, only our Sourdough Sammie.
We recommend all customers use a new scalloped serrated bread knife, specifically engineered for bread.
A new knife means it is not dulled. A knife is a tool that needs to be cared for.
We recommend Ronin Sharpening - 760-895-1414. You can find them, Thursdays at the Indian Wells Farmers Market.
Excellent service and skill to sharpen all your knives, scissors, etc.
WHY DOES MY BREAD GET HARD AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS?
All of our loaves are natural and “Preservative-free". Our bread will naturally start to harden over time.
Staling is the process in which moisture is physically leaving your loaf of bread. We do everything at Bread and Flours to encapsulate as much moisture as possible in the interior of your loaf to deter staling.
We do not use any additives. We do not add enzymes, we do not add dough conditioners, or we do not add preservatives. These additives allow a loaf of bread to unnaturally be squishy soft for days, upon days.
. The science is clear, preservatives in our food have a detrimental effect on our bodies.
Respectfully, Bread and Flours does not produce anything that would harm our customers.
WHAT DOES "HOUSE-MILLED STONE-GROUND FLOUR" MEAN?
Grinding fresh whole wheat berries into fresh flour allows us to provide the freshest flour in every one of our loaves.
We grind fresh at our bakery with an American-made mill that is gravity-fed.
Fresh flour ensures every loaf will be at its absolute peak of flavor and nutrition for your body.
WHY CAN’T I PURCHASE BREAD ALL THE TIME ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Our loaves take a minimum of 36 hours to craft one loaf. This is our standard.
Grinding Fresh flour, building up the starter, crafting and shaping on the bench, and then overnight fermentation;
all these pieces are used to create world-class bread. This takes time, and we are OK with this standard.
WHY DOES YOUR LABEL SAY, "MADE IN A HOME KITCHEN?"
We consider ourselves lucky and proud to call California our home. We are able to take advantage of the "California Cottage Food Industry Act" which allows small artisan food producers to create goods in their home kitchens. The home-based businesses are certified and inspected by local jurisdictions and monitored for food safety compliance.
Our space is tight but we do what we love.
DO YOU SELL GLUTEN-FREE BREAD?
We are sorry, we don't handcraft any gluten-free bread.
We have ambient flour in our bakery and conventional baking would cross-contaminate any potential gluten-free loaves.
DO YOU SELL YOUR STARTER OR YOUR SOURDOUGH CULTURE?
Sorry. Our starter is part of our family, and "Lupita" is not for sale.
CAN YOU BAKE SOURDOUGH FOR MY WEDDING/PARTY/BUSINESS MEETING?
Yes! We can work with you.
Give us a call!
CAN YOU TELL ME WHEN MY ORDER IS GOING TO ARRIVE?
All orders are routed to use the least amount of carbon and to arrive safely at your door. We input all order addresses Saturday morning. We call or text you when your order has arrived. We can tell you what number you are in our list of orders and do our best to guess when we might arrive, but we cannot be specific on a time for delivery. We are working expediently, and cannot give a specific arrival time. Everyone is patiently waiting and we are doing our best to be fair to all customers. Thank you for your patience as we do our best to arrive at your door safely.
Feel free to call so we can address any concerns.
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