Ask the expert: Christophe Dewilde,
1) What type of ready-to-use sourdoughs does Puratos produce?
Puratos produces both liquid and powder sourdoughs that are all natural and clean label. They provide a variety of flavor profiles perfect for both industrial and retail artisan production.
Both powder and liquids are produced in Belgium at various facilities. Most recently, Puratos announced the completion of a brand new liquid sourdough line in Pennsauken, N.J.
You can directly contact Puratos at 800-654-0036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Most importantly, you can visit us at booth 3300 at IBIE in October.
Puratos is committed to being your reliable partner in innovation. Our passion is to help bakers, pastry chefs, and chocolatiers be successful in their business. We work side by side with our customers to develop original and innovative ingredients, technologies, and solutions. Our Puratos companies, combined with a network of independent distributors, allow us to serve you nation-wide.
Q: What are the advantages to using traditional sourdough?
A: Traditional sourdough products offer a distinct flavor, a softer and more elastic crust and a longer lasting softness. Sours are a mold inhibitor because of their acidity, which helps increase the shelf life of the baked product.
Q: How is ready-to-use sourdough different from traditional sourdough?
A: Ready-to-use sourdough is an ingredient that can be used in place of the sourdough production process. This adds to the consistency of the product without sacrificing the flavor and natural attributes of the bread.
Q: Are there different varieties of sourdough flavors?
A: There are liquid and powdered sourdoughs in a variety of flavors. Liquids can contain inactive
micro-organisms or active micro-
organisms, meaning they are still alive. A sourdough is a mixture of water and flour that has been fermented by a lactic acid bacteria. Powders can be broken into two categories, drum-dried or spray-dried. The flavor of the sour changes during the drying process as volatiles are lost, but a new flavor is created. With the drum drying process the temperature is higher, so toasted notes develop in the sourdough.
Q: Is it possible to mix and match types of sours to achieve a specific flavor?
A: Sourdoughs can be mixed to achieve a distinctive flavor. It would be very difficult to achieve an identical flavor with a liquid sour as with a powdered sour because the flavor changes during the drying process. At the bowl, a baker can mix liquids and powders in any combination to achieve a certain flavor profile, or they can use a custom-tailored, ready-to-use sourdough, specific to their company’s profile. In total, there are an infinite combination of flavors that can be created.
Q: How are sours created?
A: A traditional sourdough is made by combining water and flour in a bowl, covering the mix and letting it sit and capture the micro-organisms in the air. In a couple of days the sourdough must be refreshed by taking out some of the sourdough and replacing it with flour and water to give food to the micro-organisms to help them to develop. In a few days the sourdough will be ready to be added to bread.
Q: What are the challenges bakers can expect when using traditional sourdough?
A: The bakery must purchase a significant amount of equipment, which will take up space. It will be a long production process that has to be managed 24/7. The sourdough must be made and refreshed everyday. Climate can effect consistency. Temperature differences from summer to winter can change the temperature of the dough, causing a variation in flavor. Also, if the wrong micro-organisms are captured, the flavor of the end product will be altered. Bakers must consider the cost and convenience differences between managing their own sourdough or using ready-to-use sourdough.
Q: What kind of equipment will bakers need to make sourdough?
A: Bakeries can choose closed fermentation tanks or open holding tanks. With an open tank the sourdough must constantly be monitored. A closed tank allows bakers to control the air temperature, but can be quite expensive.
Q: Is the use of sours in large-scale bakery manufacturing becoming more common?
A: Yes, to maintain consistency, many wholesale and industrial bakeries are utilizing ready-to-use sourdough technology to keep the cost of adding equipment down and to improve the consistency of their product. There are also industrial customers that are producing traditional sourdoughs in fermentation tanks and maintaining their own starter-doughs on a large wholesale basis. The demand for artisan sourdough products is increasing overall among consumers.
Q: In what types of products are sours most often used?
A: While sours are used most often in bread, they can be added to all flour-based products, including snacks, muffins and sweetgoods. In addition, there have been innovations in butter-flavored sourdoughs, gluten-free sourdough production and salt replacer production based on sourdoughs.
Q: How much sourdough should bakeries add to a given formula?
A: Traditional sourdoughs depend on the desired end flavor, but ratios are generally between 10 and 50 percent of the formula. With a ready-to-use sourdough, powdered varies between 1 percent to 5 percent maximum, and liquid sours, range from 1 percent to 20 percent.
Q: Are there special temperature considerations?
A: Temperature can affect the type of lactic acid bacteria that will grow. To produce a very acidic sourdough, grow the sourdough at the lower temperature between 68°F and 77°F. To produce a sourdough with more lactic notes, make a sourdough at a higher temperature between 86°F and 95°F.
Q: Are there different flavor preferences depending on region?
A: Yes. On the western half of the United States, you’ll find preferences for a stronger San Francisco-style sourdough. In France, it’s a milder sourdough and so on. Bakers can gain additional artisan business by adopting the flavor profiles within different cultures and introducing them in a new region.
Q: Are there advantages of producing a more natural product for the consumer?
A: Ready-to-use bio-fermented flavors are all natural, so the company can add the claim of all-natural sourdough to the label. Consumers are demanding more natural products or products made with the least amount of chemically altered ingredients.