My German origins make me love good bread, and Australia with its spongy, yeasted white flour fluff being marketed as ‘bread’ must be one of the worst places on this planet for a baker goods (its cakes are atrocious too). But fortunately a growing boutique baker’s culture has sprung up over the last 10-15 years, with probably most of them specialising in sourdough breads.
Yesterday we went to a farmers’ market in the culinary wasteland of the Western Sydney suburbs. At this stage it was more of a food (af)fair than a grower’s market; probably only 1/10th of all stalls sold fresh fruit and vegetables and they probably were just green grocers; there also was little in the line of organic produce. Nevertheless, we discovered Sonoma sourdough bread.
Sonoma is a Sydney based bakery, with their main store (& cafe) located in Waterloo and another bakery cafe situated in Glebe. We just bought a loaf of Turkish bread and it was delicious – crusty, chewy and with a mouth-watering hearty flavour.
Sonoma’s bread’s, like all our sourdough breads, are naturally leavened and created from the same simple ingredients – water, flour, sourdough starter and sea salt. Their sourdough starter is fermented naturally and is fed twice daily; it contains only flour and filtered water. The chewy crustiness of their breads as well as the wholesome sourdough flavour is achieved through a well-known tweak: they prolong the fermentation process by chilling the doughs as they rise.
Sonoma says that their bread contains no commercial yeast or preservatives. The dough is gently mixed and hand shaped by its bakers before being wrapped in Belgian linen and left to rise slowly in a lengthy fermentation process in their chilled retarder. They are then baked on a stone hearth of their radiant gas oven each night, fresh for delivery 7 days a week to local provedores, cafés or fine dining restaurants within hours.
The Sonoma bakers say on their website that all their breads are made with the best quality flour we can find. They endeavour to use organic ingredients in our breads when commercially available – which unfortunately means that they don’t guarantee the that their flour is derived from organically grown and processed grains. That to my mind is a pity and I also regret a bit that only a very few of their products are made with wholemeal flour; most of their flour used is white/unbleached. Apart from those two expectation failures though I confidently think it’s great bread, even though we judged just a small sample.
- Country White
- Soy and Linseed
- Wholemeal Spelt
- Wholemeal Polenta
- Rye Spelt
- Walnut and Raisin
- Fruit Spelt
- Kalamata Olive
- Seeded Rye
- Wholewheat Miche
- Spelt Maple Almond Breakfast Muesli
- All Natural Oven Roasted Breakfast Muesli
Sonoma Baking Company,
Sonoma Bakery Cafe Waterloo
Sonoma Bakery Cafe Glebe
215a Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW 2037
Phone 02 9660 2116