Sourdough Maida vs Atta and how do we decide which one is nicer to eat?
A sourdough, by nature, should be crusty on the outside and soft from the inside. Now how does one decide which flour to use and how much? The first question is always, how does one like the taste and texture of the sourdough bread? For example, if one is making a baguette, you will want it crusty from the outside with lots of air pockets on the inside, so many air pockets that you will see very little dough. This is best achieved using white wheat flour. Having said that The Baker’s Dozen baguette is 100% whole-wheat. The rationale behind this is that baguette is very flexible and easy to consume. In India, if we want to increase its consumption, a consumer would feel more comfortable knowing that it is 100% whole-wheat. We had an option of making it 50-50 but at The Baker’s Dozen we don’t really like that way of working. We go either for a 100% Maida (white flour) or a 100% Atta (wheat flour), this midway is not something that fits with our brand philosophy.
Now let’s take another product, a German sourdough – the most-loved sourdough on our menu: The Four Grain- loaded with seeds, for every 100 grams of flour, we add 64 grams of seeds to it. And this is just the seeds on the inside, the ones on top are additional. By nature, this bread will be crunchy and intense in Flavour but not as light and crusty, the way a baguette would be. Since it’s loaded with seeds, the health parameter is in check too. Hence we chose to make this 100% whole-wheat. Maida wasn’t going to add any textural value to it.
Mid-2020, we wanted to launch a range of sourdoughs very different from the ones we had on our menu. We actually did some crowdsourcing for inspiration and ideas. One of the first breads we fell in love with was a Bordelaise, a French country sourdough.
We had always wanted to put that one on our menu. We launched two sourdoughs, a Country and a Chilli Cheese. Both made from Maida, these are more indulgent products, and we wanted them to have the crust and the air pockets as well as the lightness one gets with Maida.
In the Chilli Cheese Sourdough, the Chilli and cheese definitely stand out but we wanted the crust as the hero and hence, Maida was our flour of choice.10