...wait, what? Paleo Robbie is selling bread now? 🤯
Yes! And here's why:
1) While we don't believe consuming lots of bread is great for you, a little bit of high-quality bread is not going to harm people who are not sensitive to gluten or wheat.
Note: Sourdough is NOT gluten-free bread. While it is true that the fermentation of sourdough reduces the gluten content in sourdough compared to other breads, it's far from gluten-free. If minimizing gluten is a concern, try the rye sourdough, made partly with rye flour, which is very low in gluten - and rye also contains a wider range of micronutrients than normal wheat.
There is also some evidence that sourdough's fermentation increases the bioavailability of nutrients in the flour, but that shouldn't be the reason you eat it 🤓
2) All bread is not created equal...
If you're going to eat bread, make it count! Many people are surprised to learn that your average supermarket bread contains lots of additives - mostly for shelf life (preservatives or even seed oils) or taste (added sugars).
At what point do we stop calling this bread? Check your labels 🧐
3) ...and this is great bread from a truly artisan producer that we are proud to support.
Nicolai, the founder and chief bread officer at Bartels in Bangkok (and now Phuket!) is a sourdough perfectionist who focuses ONLY on making excellent, authentic sourdough...and no other bakery products.
He's been passionate about sourdough for more than a decade, teaching himself one loaf at a time until finally deciding to turn his passion into business - because he noticed that the sourdough standard in Thailand was...seriously lacking.
Most bakeries in Bangkok add commercial yeast to their recipe in order to guarantee a perfect rise as the bread bakes - which is a shortcut that dilutes the taste and quality of sourdough.
This is a man who cares very deeply about the quality of that starter! 🍞
That's because true sourdough gets its tangy, "sour" flavor from the natural fermentation process of a simple set of ingredients: flour, water, salt, and a sourdough starter.
The "starter" is just a combination of good bacteria and wild yeast that must be nurtured into a great fermentation & flavor driver by a skilled sourdough baker - anyone who has tried it themselves knows the difficulty in getting it right!
Usually a good sign when the ingredients are listed on the wall 😎
True sourdough production is a craft that requires daily attention to detail and adjustments to keep the quality as high as possible - and Nicolai will be the first to tell you that there have been days where he'll simply toss out a whole batch that doesn't meet his standard.
OK, where do I get my hands on a loaf already?
Nicolai makes only two types - a standard "blond" sourdough using normal wheat flour, and a rye sourdough which uses mostly rye flour. Both are excellent.
Note that the sourdough loaves come vacuum packed and FROZEN. We use our blast-freezer to quickly freeze them on the morning they're done baking, which preserves the moisture and quality very well. We did *plenty* of testing on this (ahem).
How to defrost 👇
These loaves reheat wonderfully directly from frozen! Just do the following:
You can also just leave it out to defrost, but we highly recommend the oven method above.
Slice your loaf with a bread knife and then enjoy with some grass-fed butter or a drizzle of a high-quality extra virgin olive oil...or in the many other ways you can enjoy great bread 🥖