The golden trio is cooking up something new. Baking, in fact, this time. Anders Braathen, Stian Floer andTom Victor Gausdal run the restaurants Smalhans, Hitchhiker, and Strand together. Now they are opening an organic and 100 % pure sourdough bakery at Vulkan, above Mathallen and next to Kontrast. It has been a life long dream for them, and together with master baker Pontus Blomberg they open the doors to their gluten heaven, Handwerk, this Friday the 24th of April.
We snook in for a preview of the baked goods last week, and had a chat with Pontus about sourdough and what makes it special. Pontus had prepared two different types of bread this day, one regular and one made with durum flour. He also had a stack of cinnamon rolls ready, from sourdough of course, which was a great idea for Two Sweet Tooths Eating.
Normally when you bake bread you add already cultivated yeast in order to make the dough rise faster. With sourdough you don't add yeast at all. In stead you give the flour and water time. Time for lactic acid bacteria and yeasts to form, Pontus tells us, which will create the same effect in a slower process.
Except with more time you also get more flavor, Pontus explains. Sourdough bread are more «sour» or acidic, as the name suggest, with more complexity in the taste. The lactic acid bacteria also produce more gas, which gives sourdough it’s characteristic big air bubbles inside. Finally, the high acid level breaks down proteins, which results in weaker gluten. You want those gluten strings weak when you're baking!
There are also health benefits to eating sourdough bread, according to Pontus. It has a lower glycemic index, which means it won’t spike blood sugar as much as regular bread. The digestion is easier, because the digestion process actually starts in the dough, and the fermentation process increases the content of beneficial bacteria for your body as well. Finally, sourdough bread allows your body to take up more of the natural vitamins
Handwerk will serve Smalhans, Hitchhiker and Strand with bread, in addition to other restaurants that are interested to buy them. Regular consumers can buy freshly baked breads and buns of different kinds, some with pistachio cream, Pontus promises. There will also be sandwiches, and Pontus dreams about fermented cabbage as one topping. In addition, Andrea the baker is moving in permanently. She's been hiding in the basement of Smalhans so far, baking those delicious cakes you've seen on the bar counter. Handwerk will be her new base from now on.
We cannot wait until Friday to start buying proper sourdough bread from Handwerk, and we recommend you guys to check it out too!
Here you can find all the restaurants I visit and frequent. From Berlin to Helsinki and from Oslo to Lima.