Fake Sourdough

Hello there! I'm having a run-in at the moment with supermarket giant Morrisons and the local Trading Standards and need some support. I noticed a few months ago that Morrisons had these fantastic looking "Sourdough Boules" on display for £1 (yes, just a one pound coin!). I asked for the ingredients of the sourdough dough and was given them and, as suspected, they included commercial yeast and in this instance citric acid which they said was to simulate the sour aroma related to sourdough. I have protested to Trading Standards saying that we specialists sweat and strain to achieve a perfect sourdough loaf over something like 15-24 hours work and patience only to see a cheating lot of mechanised non-bakers claiming to produce the real thing for £1. We need to highlight this and make a stand. \i am sure that Morrisons are not the only ones cheating the profession so please send your experiences and thoughts on the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Culverhouse

Badger Bakery

Yarlington, Somerset, England, BA9 8DG

10 comments

I can certainly confirm that its the worst 'sourdough' I have tasted on the market.  It was obvious when eating it that it hadn't been made using a sourdough starter.  Its tasteless and the texture is just wrong.  Trading standards should be showing them up for sure.

Quite by coincidence I was in Morrisons, Bangor on Monday and for the second time looked at their "sourdough" with the intention of buying a loaf just so I can say I have tried it it before making any response. For the second time I couldn't actually make myself buy it. The look and feel of it is bad enough and I know it's crap.

The problem with Trading Standards is there is no legal definition of sourdough.

I have a great weakness for sarcasm and I was thinking of trying to overcome this by writing to the manager and saying, look, I'm your local sourdough specialist, I could help you out by training your bakers to make the real thing. I know I would be wasting my time.

So, do you have any suggestions for a coordinated approach? I could go ahead with my idea, see what information is forthcoming and report back.

Mick
www.thepartisanbaker.com

.....I'm not sure that the majority of the public would know what a real sourdough loaf is or is made of.  Education is really the only answer and the more people join the bandwagon the more that will happen.  In Macclesfield we have a monthly market (Treacle Market) and excellent bread from Flour Water Salt - it's starting to make people sit up and take notice.  Slow process (like so much involved in sourdough!) though.

 

We have the same problem in Australia (I will post a pic of the local 'factory sourdough' shortly).

Standards Australia have reacted in a similar way, at one point conveying to a baker that 'sourdough' should include all breads that are 'sour' to taste.

Really it is up to bakers themselves to define what sourdough is, and come together under one sourdough standard.

The Artisan Baker Association has a working sourdough standard, with over 200 participants so far.

If enough bakers participate then bread eaters will expect to see the Association's logo on genuine sourdough.

graham

I've not been able to persuade myself that the Morrisons, Sainsbury's and M&S versions of sourdough are the real thing. My concern is for the real bakers in the area who need to persuade customers that the higher cost of their loaves is worthwhile.

The difference in taste and texture when making toast with my own sourdough and with a Chorleywood Warburton's Toastie slice is convincing enough for my family.

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I think the guy has it right who says that we should educate local residents into knowing how proper sourdough is produced. I think that I will bake a batch and set up a stall in Morrison's car park to lobby people on their way in. It'll get some publicity at least when I get arrested!

Steve

Badger Bakery

Hi all. Have just posted some pics of our local fake sourdough.

There is a lot worse out there on the shelves...this one doesn't have the imitation sourdough flavouring that many industrial loaves have.

Fortunately we keep pigs.

Cute piggy! Not so cute ingredient list on that 'sourdough'. Yuck.

Maree

We have been inspected couple of time here, mainly to check that we are using organic flours as stated on our price list. But if you try to challenge them about "Sourdough" "Au Levain" or "Poolish" they don't have a clue ! they think you speak chinese. Trading standards are as good as their knowledge hence why Britain is struggling with Horsemeat DNA in food.

one thing is sure "knowledge is power"

Floury handshake to you all

I'm sure the Real Bread Campaign is working on getting a change in the law regarding Sourdough. 

http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/sourdough/

How far it's gone I don't know, but I do agree that education is the key. I bake bread with my kids and they are only 1 and 3, so hopefully they'll want to do it in the future. The more children and young people learn about how much fun making good food can be the better, it starts at home but should be carried on at schools I think.