THE DOUGH OFF

Aer Café | Fife Bakery | A Bread Affair

Welcome to the first round of the Sourdough Dough Off. We are on the hunt for the best sourdough around, so we are putting them to a taste, pitting different loaves from different bakeries against each other.

Sourdough has made a renaissance, with more bakeries touting their levain sourdough as their signature loaf and the bar for quality is getting higher. This isn’t the same bread your mom bought from the grocery store.

What separates sourdough from the rest is that it is made by fermenting the dough, using a starter with bacteria and yeast, which gives it that much loved tangy flavour. It’s a challenging bread to make and can take a long time with very hit or miss results for the home baker. For many, it’s worth leaving sourdough to the baker.

For our first Sourdough Dough Off we are comparing sourdough from, Aer Café in Hastings Sunrise, Fife Bakery near Olympic Village and A Bread Affair, which can can be found in select grocery stores and Granville Island.

by | Jun 26, 2018

A Bread Affair

A Bread Affair is based on Granville Island, but has been able to expand beyond their bakery and into select grocery stores around the Lower Mainland. They use a sourdough culture that has been around since 1986 and opened doors in 2005. The “Cheeky” sourdough is a perfectly round loaf that is much smaller than Aer’s and Fife’s. The colour is much lighter and the knife cuts the crust easily. On the tangy side, this bread is not as glutinous or hardy as the other two loaves. It would be a good choice for those who like a softer crust.

Aer Bakery

Aer Cafe is a modern and cozy café in the heart of Hastings Sunrise. Owned by PL Lee and Stanley Wong, Aer serves up some excellent baking, including sourdough made in small quantities. Wong is the baker and actually learned the tools of the trade from Youtube.Aer opted for a is round with a beautiful leaf pattern imprint. The crust is thick and a little tough, but the inside is airy and light with a sturdy glutenous texture. The doughs tangy flavour holds up in a sandwich, which they make at Aer.

Fife Bakery

When Fife Bakery first opened there was a lineup outside the door. A little over half a year later and the initial lineup has died down, but not Fife’s reputation. Baker Felix Yau opted for the long loaf with a much more flakey crust then the other two. Like Aer, Fife’s bread has nice air bubbles, but retains that hearty depth and glutinous bounce. If seeing is half of eating then Felix has nailed #breadporn. The crust appears to be barely able contain the bread, splitting ever so much at the top, giving away a little peek of what lays inside. Such a tease.

This was a tough choice as every bread is excellent in its own way, but the winner has to go to Fife Bakery for being the most well rounded in flavour and texture. Aer Cafe came in a close second.

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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