Food - Drink
How Some Bakeries 'Cheat' When Making Sourdough Bread
The term sourdough applies to any bread made with a living culture of natural, wild yeast, and its sour taste comes from the acids and bacteria produced by the dough as it develops and rises. Making sourdough is simple, but it can be time-consuming, which may be why some bakers “cheat” when making their loaves.
All you need to make sourdough is flour, salt, warm water, and a starter, which is essentially a fermented mixture of flour and water. The water fosters a climate that is conducive to fermentation; the salt helps to strengthen gluten; and the starter develops the bacteria necessary to give sourdough its signature tang.
However, some bakeries cut the fermentation process short by adding vinegar or another acid, and replace the sourdough starter with standard yeast. Some bread lovers consider this method to be “cheating,” but what matters is how the loaves taste, and you may prefer one type of sourdough over the other or taste no difference at all.