The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Challenge: Wikipedia sourdough photo

Uberkermit's picture
Uberkermit

Challenge: Wikipedia sourdough photo

If anyone out there has a great, mouth watering photo of a sourdough loaf, a generous spirit, and a little bit of web savy, please consider improving the wikipedia entry on sourdough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourdough). The photo currently displayed is from a chain store called Bakers Delight, showing what they call "White Vienna Sourdough Loaves". This "sourdough" bread has commercial yeast, not to mention the typical slew of preservatives that chain bread stores add to their dough. I think the article could be much improved by showing an artisan loaf made in the tradition of bakers for thousands of years.

Actually, the whole article could be greatly improved by the collective knowledge of this community, so please feel free to improve the article even if you don't have a photo to contribute.

Just a thought,

-Chris

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I really don't like the idea of a "typical" sourdough loaf, or of an archetypal sourdough loaf.

 

Before the mid to late 1800's almost all leavened breads were risen with sourdough. If you are eating a bread whose style predates that time frame, it was almost certainly originally a sourdough bread.

Challah, as has been mentioned around here before, dates back to about 70AD. It was almost certainly a sourdough bread.

Virtually all great rye breads are sourdough breads, the sourdough makes it possible for rye breads to rise to any sort of impressive height.

Pannetone is, classically, a sourdough bread.

Kaiser rolls are, originally, sourdough breads.

Many Americans have a myopic view of sourdough as being "San Francisco Sourdough Bread" and that few - if any - other breads qualify.


We could probably ask Boudin Bakery or the Bread Baker's Guild of America for a good picture. And we'd probably get it. And it would probably be a better loaf than the one shown. However, would that "betterness" show? I think not. The one in the article is attractive enough.

And whatever we chose would continue the stereotype that THIS is the one, true sourdough bread.

Kinda like when some people discover that beer doesn't HAVE to be yellow.

 

Maybe the answer is to have a number of breads and say, "These are all sourdough breads."

Mike

 

ejm's picture
ejm

Bravo, Mike, I think you have hit the nail on the head:

> Maybe the answer is to have a number of breads and say, "These are all sourdough breads."

 

Personally, I like to steer away from the term "sourdough" and use "natural starter" or "wild yeast".

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Kinda like when some people discover that beer doesn't HAVE to be yellow.

It doesn't? Oh yeah, it can be clear too, like Zima, right?

(Covers head)

Sorry, couldn't resist. I just came back from lunch at The Lucky Labrador Brew Pub and I'm feeling a bit loopy.

Mmmm... holiday beers...