Following on from the success of Puratos’ World Heritage Sourdough Library in Belgium, Puratos UK is developing a new sourdough collection at its Innovation Centre in Fringford, Oxfordshire. Created to further understand sourdough in the UK and the impact local environment and ingredients can have, the new project is already home to 20 sourdough starters.
Puratos UK is using ingredients sourced from the surrounding area, such as waste from a nearby winery, fermented nettles grown on site and milled flour and sloe berries from just a few miles away, to create a set of sourdoughs particular to the location.
To ensure its customers reap maximum benefit from the sourdough research, Puratos UK is not only testing the sourdough starters but also the finished products too. The research will experiment with the impact of variables such as hydration, temperature, fermentation time, handling and storage conditions on both the starters and end products.
Two of the 20 sourdough starters have been DNA mapped, revealing the specific strains of wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria they contain. The research has revealed that these are unusual strains, which are contributing to fast fermentation times, darker crust colour and interesting flavours.
Kurt Van Vlasselaer, Bakery NPD manager at Puratos UK comments:
“By creating this UK collection, we are further demonstrating our commitment to bread making and using the learnings from our World Heritage library to gain more detailed insights.”
Georgia Wills, Application Specialist Industrial Bakery R&D adds:
“Our next piece of research will focus on furthering our understanding of the science behind every sourdough starter, as each are unique in their properties and performance. This will include studying the effects of scaling up as well as continuing to DNA map all of the sourdoughs.”