Macrina’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Loaf: Skagit Sourdough
After twenty-five years of baking numerous types of bread with Macrina, you might think I’d be tired of it. On the contrary! I am as excited to be baking now more than ever. This new loaf is the product of all I have learned, and I am excited to be making something that’s so close to home. With the growing market of organic wheat varieties harvested and processed right here in the Northwest, I feel very fortunate to live where I do. I wanted the name to reflect where the loaf came from, so Skagit Sourdough was chosen in honor of the many grains grown in Skagit Valley.
I love how the Skagit Sourdough turned out! Creating this loaf has taken months of tinkering. It’s important to get to know how the ingredients work together when creating a new loaf. I do this by making it over and over again with slight alterations. I experiment with ratios and combinations of flour, proofing time and varying types of fermentation, until finally, it’s just right! Being aware of how each step of the process changes the loaf makes all the difference.
The Final Product
There is so much flavor in this loaf. This comes from the grain, the long fermentation, and the original starter I made when Macrina first began. But it’s the germ and the bran that really carry the flavors of the field into the bread. The crust is delightfully crisp, made even more so by flakes of spelt. Spelt is an heirloom grain, one of the oldest in food history. It is naturally high in protein, with a broad range of nutrients that add to the Skagit Sourdough’s nutritional value.
When you cut into the loaf, the interior is tender, moist and incredibly flavorful. This is partially to do with the long fermentation process. I found that a day-long ferment, with a light dose of starter, brought about the great texture and sour flavor I was looking for. There is a balancing sweetness from the natural grain that develops during the fermentation, which is complemented by the nuttiness of the bran. The result is one of our most grain-forward loaves Macrina has ever made. It has so much substance and nutritional value while celebrating the bounty of Northwest in all its natural beauty. You can’t help but feel good while eating it.
On our anniversary, August 27, we will be giving away loaves of the Skagit Sourdough at our cafés in specially designed Macrina totes. Please stop in, grab a loaf and celebrate with us.