Sunday, January 28, 2024

Delight your customers: Madison Sourdough Edition

Creating what in my view are the best croissants in Madison daily for decades is no small feat. Complementing said croissants with a wide variety of interesting breads, baked goods and entrees makes Madison Sourdough a compelling and frequent destination.

Obviously with a name like Madison Sourdough you know that bread is the focus. This attention to detail starts with the grain. It is milled on site. Madison Sourdough continues to innovate and hone the variables to create their namesake sourdough. The pastry and restaurant offerings are a feast for the eyes and palate.

We have an opportunity to hear from owner Drew Hutchison on Monday evening, 12 February 2024. The Madison Literary Club is hosting Drew's talk at 7:30p.m.

email if you'd like to attend this meeting as a Madison Literary Club guest.

A few appetizers for Drew's talk:

1. Wisconsin Foodie visits:

2. Celebrating 30 years of Madison Sourdough (!)

3. Milling in house.

Lindsay Christians:
Milling in-house allows Hutchison to control for issues in the grain and respond very quickly to problems. The flour is also fresher.

“The freshness — I noticed it right away,” Hutchison said. “It’s like a really good tomato next to a just-okay one.”

When a grain of wheat cracks, it begins to oxidize right away. Fresh flour is considered “unstable,” Hutchison explained, and oxidation equalizes it and makes it more stable and consistent.
Barry Adams:
“There’s more connection between the farmer, miller and baker and that really resonates with people,” said Hutchinson, whose products are sold at the cafe and at 12 grocery stores. “It’s demanding. You have to have the staff for it and you have to have the systems in place to do it. You either need to find a distributor or do the distributing on your own. It’s just demanding. Its 365 days a year for us.”
Anna Thomas Bates:
A traditional long fermentation is one of the ways Madison Sourdough sets itself apart from other bakers. This is the original way of leavening bread and it helps unlock nutrients. Hutchison lists a number of other ways Madison Sourdough is unique: “We pay our staff good wages, everything is made by hand, we use local grains that we mill ourselves, and the bread is pretty delicious.” Hutchison grew up working summer and part-time jobs in the food industry, so he was always comfortable in a kitchen, including working the wee morning hours of an opening baker. “There’s something romantic about it that I enjoy—the solitude, the focus, the discipline of getting up early.”
4. Student bakers:
Then the class got interactive. Apron-clad students each took a plug of Madison Sourdough’s 30-plus year old starter, added water and flour and began to work with it. Hutchison teaches a method called “slap and fold.” “Your bread is only ever going to be as good as your sourdough starter is healthy and vigorous,” he said.
## We're excited to announce that Ronnie Hess will serve as a Respondent for Andrew's talk.

.mp3 audio

Madison Sourdough.