Provenance Flour Flavour
I’ve been baking sourdough in Sydney for about 10 years now. Much of your story resonates with me as I bake once a week and give away half of what I bake to family and friends. It seems most bakeries that produce sourdough focus on look and crumb rather than (sour) flavour. I’ve tasted lots of “award-winning” sourdough that doesn’t compare to what I can produce in terms of flavour and I’ve always put it down to the retardation time needed to get true sourness that comes from a longish fermentation, which can’t be easy in a hot bakery. I’d like to know more about the flavour profiles of the Lancer vs Spitfire – can you add any more to the info that’s on the L vs S test post? It seems the Lancer had more of a sour aftertaste than the Spitfire, something I usually associate with not enough fermentation, but maybe that’s because the Lancer has more flavour from the actual flour? Also, did you acclimatise your starter with the respective flours first? Many thanks.
PS I noticed that if I buy some of the Provenance flour I can pick it up from a Lane Cove address. Is this where you are?
“It seems most bakeries that produce sourdough focus on look and crumb rather than (sour) flavour. I’ve tasted lots of “award-winning” sourdough that doesn’t compare to what I can produce in terms of flavour and I’ve always put it down to the retardation time needed to get true sourness that comes from a longish fermentation, which can’t be easy in a hot bakery.”
Sorry for the late reply, I just got back from Tasmania.
It’s true that there is some variable quality sourdough bread being sold and I can’t speak for those out there but there are some who do a really good job. But having said that, almost all home bakers that I know well who are long time bakers and understand sourdough baking make superb bread. There are probably many reasons, not least of all, that they give it the time it deserves, being free from economic pressure considerations. But I’m not sure that “sour flavour” is the reason nor the best way to describe it.
IMHO good sourdough bread has complexity of flavour and aroma. These things are individual from bakery to bakery, home kitchen to home kitchen. And you’re right that time is very important and usually the one ‘ingredient’ that is compromised in bakeries as economic pressures come to bear – not all mind you.
In regard to Lancer & Spitfire, they are both very different to standard commercial blended flours. Yes, I did make my sourdough, or cycled them, separately with Lancer or Spitfire to ensure they were acclimatised.
But I suggest that the best way for you to assess the variations and characteristics of Lancer & Spitfire is to use them and make an evaluation for yourself. Get the small bags first and try them. I like them both for various reasons not only flavour differences but also how they behave as a dough.
Yes, you can collect them from Lane Cove if you arrange it at checkout.
I’d be interested in your reviews on each of them…