Call it a childhood holdover – the local preference for white, pillowy bread – but tastes are changing. More bakeries have popped up to specialise in the latest in the hard bread trend: sourdough. Last December, former engineers Nurhasanah Johari and Chalith opened The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough. The couple grew up eating soft white bread, but were drawn to the age-old process of coaxing wild yeast to work with flour and water to create a tangy loaf.
“Besides going well with everything, there are more health benefits with sourdough breads, because the long fermentation process allows bacteria to break down gluten in bread and makes it easier for our bodies to digest it,” says Johari, who spent three years reading books and watching Youtube videos to pick up the art of baking sourdough. “It’s a loaf that keeps giving.”
(RELATED: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sourdough.)
CHEW ON THIS
01: HOUSE-MADE SPREAD
The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough serves toast slathered with spreads that help soften that first crunch. Try the house-made hummus with za’atar (a blend of Middle Eastern herbs), and sage cream cheese with berry compote. Pair this with the nel drip – single origin coffee brewed with a sock. #01-05 Serene Centre, 10 Jalan Serene.
02: ADDITIONAL FLAVOURS
At Firebake, bread is baked in a massive brick structure with two wood-fire ovens that give bread a distinctly thick crust. The bakery turns out four types of wood-fired sourdough breads – rye, white, fruit and wholemeal – either as takeaway loaves or as sandwiches, toasts, and even croutons in salads. 237 East Coast Road.
03: THE MOTHER OF STARTERS
Opened by Dean Brettschneider of Baker & Cook, Plank Sourdough Pizza uses the same sourdough starter that Brettschneider created 26 years ago. Compared to regular pizza dough, the sourdough is more elastic and can handle a good knead. The result: a light, pillowy crust with a good chew. 64 Namly Place.
PHOTOGRAPHY Vernon Wong
ART DIRECTION Fazlie Hashim