Our Breads is Alive
Hovey & Harrison co-owner Molly Harrison feeds her bread “children” every day.
“I refer to my starters a lot as children because I have to feed them,” she explains. “They could literally die if I don’t take care of them.”
To make the delicious sourdough bread that comes fresh out of the bakery every day, the active cultures alive from these starters is used to make the bread rise.
“What makes the bread rise is the yeast that’s alive and the bacteria that’s alive in the bread,” Harrison explains. “That’s what is eating the sugars off the flour and expelling gas, and that’s actually what makes the bread rise. There’s no commercial process going into our sourdough.”
When it’s cold out, the starters are “sluggish and tired,” just like when it’s summertime, Harrison says the starters “are out of control wild.”
“So they are are this live thing, so you have to take into consideration if it’s hot or cold,” she adds.
Sourdough will also taste a little differently wherever you are in the world, since the starters grow uniquely from that area.
“They are alive, and they take on the flavor of where you are,” she shares. “That’s why with San Francisco sourdough, you’ll never get that anywhere else, because the live cultures and the bacteria and the yeast take on your natural environment. It’s kind of like ‘terroir’ with wine. They can’t replicate France in California.”
Harrison began her starter eight years ago in Edwards, so they have that true local flavor.
“I keep mine alive, and it is used every single day of the year,” she says. “But it’s a pretty infant one compared to some people’s that are hundreds of years old.”