Sourdough baking is one of the oldest techniques for fermenting bread and is dated back to ancient Egypt. The first Sourdough was probably created by mistake as someone had combined flour with water and let it sit too long. Up until the industrial revolution and the commercial yeast almost all bread contained some kind of Sourdough. But it had no chance against the effective commercial yeast and it’s presence in the world of baking faded.
Today however, thanks to people becoming more healthconscious, the Sourdough has made it’s comeback. The base of a Sourdough is a starter – made by flour and water that through natural fermantation creates a culture of lactic bacteria and a culture of natural yeast. The fermentation gives the bread a different taste and texture and has many health benefits. It is the lactic bacteria that causes the sour taste. All Sourdoughs are different depending on the structure of the flour used and how often it is feeded. The Sourdough that you create will be unique and of you treat right – it can be used for generations.
To take his baking to the next level, Beesham uses high quality and mostly organic ingredients. Heritage Grains are non-refined grains, as they where grown before massproduction. Mass market grains are developed to be resistant and able to produce large harvests. Heritage Grains are known to be better tolerated by people who are sensitive to bread and gluten.
Beesham knew nothing about heritage grains until he met Hans Larsson, founder of Allkorn – the society for heritage grains in Sweden. Hans Larsson has been doing research on heritage grains for many years and is the creator of the famous Ölands vete. Hans has over 250 varieties of heritage grains on his farm and seeing this was mind-blowing and enlightening for Beesham. In the small region Skåne, where Beesham lives, over 500 varieties of heritage grains are grown. Beesham had the privlege to take part of a project with Hans, growing the variety Italer in Holma, Höör. Italer has a high percentage of protein and a dark color. It was one of the best kinds of flour Beesham had ever baked with.
Beesham also worked on a project called ”Our Beloved Bread” with Hans and Bengt-Göran Karlsson in charge. The project was supported and sponsered by the Swedish government. The goal of the project was to bring heritage grains back to the market and to encourage farmers from southern Sweden to start growing them. Beeshams part in the project has been to do test baking with the different varieties of flours and hosting workshops.