Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review | Bakers Delight Authentic Sourdough pt1

What started off as a little review about sourdough, has turned into so much more! I was recently invited by Terry, the owner of Bakers Delight, Dapto, to do a tour of their bakery. Bright and early last Sunday (7am to be precise), Seth and I headed up to the bakery thinking we'd spend maybe 15 minutes with the staff learning about the process of making sourdough. What I found was so much more! Bakers Delight is such a smooth running operation, with staff that are generous with their time and knowledge, and of course, absolutely delicious sourdough! To say I have a new found appreciation for the time and effort that goes into making bread is a major underestimate. I took so many photos, I'll be spreading this over three posts (I kid you not!).

When Bakers Delight states that their sourdough is "authentic", they are telling the truth.  Traditional sourdough is made using a "mother dough", also known as a starter or vein (see top picture).  The bakers at Bakers Delight use a part of that mother dough each morning to add to their sourdough mix, then once the baking is done for the day, they "feed" the mother dough and set it aside overnight to let it grow and ferment.  This particular mother dough has been going strong since October 2010.  I was surprised to find out that some mother doughs have been used for over 150 years! Imagine the delicious flavour in that!!

After the dough is mixed and kneaded in that massive mixer, the baker shapes the dough by hand into the required shape and size.  The third picture down shows the baker marking the sourdough with traditional lines on the vienna, cob and breadrolls.

Next up, the loaves are placed in the ovens where its baked on hot stones.  Let me tell you, when the sourdough comes out of the oven, the smell is absolutely divine!!  The tops are deliciously golden and crunchy.  It takes hours to make a loaf of sourdough and I'm sure it only lasts minutes on the shelves out the front!  Here's the tip: if you want warm sourdough, make sure you hit your local Bakers Delight around 9.30-10am each morning.

The staff at Bakers Delight, Dapto were fabulous and I want to give them a huge shout out for all the hard work they put in every single day! I admire anyone who gets up before 3am to go to work!!

Pictured l-r: Adam, Beau and Shaun...bakers extraordinaire!  Adam is an apprentice and his enthusiasm is going to take him far. Its great to see someone who so clearly loves their job. Beau was looking after the dough prep, and he was so fast! He didn't stop the whole three hours we were there.  Shaun was in charge of the ovens, and he runs that station like a well oiled machine, churning out loaf after loaf. I would have expected that they'd have a written schedule of what they have to prepare and when, but these boys just know. Such a great team.
Pictured l-r: Nicole, Terry and Michaela. Out the front, Nicole and Michaela were busy prepaing the shopfront for the day's trading. The girls take a great deal of pride in their displays to try and tempt you. From the glass displays housing delicious ready made pizzas, scones, scrolls and more, to the many, many different loaves available for purchase, the front of store is the last stop. Its interesting to see it from the staffs' perspective, and to watch the customers try to figure out what they want to buy...its all good!
Finally, Terry. The owner of Bakers Delight, Dapto. What a lovely woman.  She's a kindred spirit you know, but choses quilting over scrapbooking. Us crafters have to stick together! Don't we look spunky together...I was a good girl and kept my apron and hat on the entire time.
Terry is very proud of her store and staff. She ensures that all of her staff are studying to improve their skills either at TAFE or university.  She works together with the other stores in the local area to raise money for charity. Last year they raised over $1million for breast cancer...amazing!  Terry's bakery also supports the local area breakfast programs for high school and donates the left over bread at night to charity.  So impressive.  I feel even better about shopping at Bakers Delight now because they give so much back to the community.

On the way out the door, Terry handed me a freshly baked sourdough loaf, which the family devoured smothered in melting butter. Oh yum!! So good.

From the Baker's Delight website...
No preservatives.
No artificial colouring.
No added flavours.
No added sugar.
No bleached flour (we use unbleached instead).
Made from scratch every day.
If it’s not sold today, it’s not sold.
Its true.

Come back tomorrow to read all about Seth's experience of Bakers Delight, and then I have some delicious and simple sourdough recipes to share with you! Stay tuned...

Disclosure: I received complimentary Bakers Delight products for review purposes. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

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