Krazi Baker Mark ready to show how to make healthier artisan bread at home
Mark, who has developed an impressive reputation baking traditional Northern Irish toasts such as soda farls, potato cakes, pancakes and potatoes from market stalls in Newtownards, Comber, Carrickfergus and at the Balmoral Show and other major gastronomic events, there has been a growing demand for information on sourdough making.
It is a bread resulting from the fermentation of dough, micro-organisms, water and wild yeast. The lactic acid from the process gives the bread a sour taste but is said to be good for digestion.
“I’ve been offering sourdough breads from my little home bakery on my market stalls for a few years,” continues Mark. “The breads have proven extremely popular due to their reputation for being healthier. I have also started supplying them to delicatessens and garden centers near my bakery in Dromore, Co Down.
“I guess one of the results of the coronavirus pandemic is the increased interest of families and individuals in cooking and baking at home. This has now extended to sourdough, encouraging me to expand my existing courses on baking soda, potato bread, and other traditional breads to embrace sourdough.
He has been leading traditional bread classes for many years.
The trend has also encouraged Mark to explore opportunities to offer sourdough pizzas which he hopes to launch in the near future with his proposed sourdough courses.
“Sourdough is basically a very simple bread made from flour, water and salt. The bread has long been popular with foodies, especially in areas around San Francisco. The bread contains no fat, oil, sugar or preservatives, unlike some mass-produced breads,” he says.
What produces the acidity is the production process which depends on a “sourdough”, a fermented mixture of flour and water, containing micro-organisms, including wild yeasts and lactobacilli. Sourdough produces vigorous leavening and develops the distinctive flavor of bread.
The entrance, continues Mark, requires special attention as it can be affected by environmental and other conditions within the bakery.
“The lessons will be aimed at showing how to do the choke at home. This is a delicate process that takes at least seven days and initially requires careful attention. Once the sourdough is perfected, it can be reused over and over again to make bread,” he adds.
“I make sourdough for customers because it’s healthy, better for the digestive system and more nutritious. However, sourdough does not appeal to all customers due to its distinctive flavor and aroma. »
Sourdough is considered healthier because it is said to be more digestible.
It is believed that the lactic acids in bread make the vitamins and minerals in flour more available to the body.
The acids are thought to slow the rate at which glucose is released into the bloodstream and lower the glycemic index (GI) of the bread, so it does not cause the unwanted insulin spikes experienced especially by people with type 2 diabetes. They also make the gluten in flour more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerances.
Sourdough bread has been around for centuries. One of the oldest sourdough breads dates back to 3700 BC and was found in Switzerland. In fact, bread production has relied on the use of sourdough as a leavening agent for most of human history.
Mark’s knowledge and expertise in yeast dough is based on over 30 years experience in making a range of traditional and contemporary breads, such as classic Italian focaccia. Its artisan breads, particularly potato and shortbread, have also won Britain’s Great Taste Awards in recent years.
It is also expanding interest in other Northern Irish soda breads by offering quirky products such as an Irish wheat side dish using raisins soaked overnight in Irish whiskey and then baked with cinnamon.
“It’s an extremely tasty bread for breakfast as well as other times of the day,” he explains. This is another bread based on the great Northern Irish tradition of wheaten breads, known as brown sodas in Britain,” he adds.
His expertise in traditional artisan breads has also been leveraged by Tourism Ireland, Tourism NI, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Food NI for events in Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
All of its freshly baked breads are made without yeast or preservatives and are baked with local ingredients, such as Neill’s Flour from Belfast; Lisburn’s Dryne’s Farm Buttermilk; Abernethy butter from Dromara; Dromona cheese; and Armagh apples. He even used award-winning guanciale from Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats in Moira and chorizo from Ispini Charcuterie, also from Moira, in his sodas.
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