Hi, I’m Jonathan. I've been an avid cook and baker for more than 30 years.
When I was in my 20s, I baked bread. I enjoyed making artful healthy food out of a few basic ingredients. But after a few years I stopped, because the bread I baked was not as good as the artisan bread I could buy.
About two years ago, I rediscovered baking when I found an article in one of my cooking magazines about no-knead bread. I made the bread and was astounded at the result. It was easily the equal of anything I could buy. It introduced several new ideas about how to create bread dough, work with it, and bake it that revolutionized the result for me.
That book taught me how to build a sourdough starter. I’d tried other methods in the past, and they never worked. But Chad’s method worked. The sourdough starter I created more than two years ago is the one I feed and use today.
Soon I was making beautiful, tall loaves with burnished, crackly crusts and creamy, complex crumb.
Instead, she brought home this hippy dippy sprouted bread in plastic bags. It looked like brown Wonder Bread. She’d eat that, but not my bread. What the duck?
At that point I pivoted my baking entirely toward sprouted grains. First, because it tasted better. Second, because Susannah would eat it. Third, because it’s better for you, more digestible, with more vitamins and minerals. When I did that, I started to realize that I was making something unique.
Most sprouted bread available today, like the bread above, is what’s called a pulp bread: it’s made by sprouting wheat, then grinding the wet sprouts into a paste, adding vital wheat gluten (because grinding wet wheat damages the proteins that form gluten), sugar (in the form of dates, raisins, honey or molasses) and yeast. It’s engineered to look like bread, taste good to American palates, and fit around sandwiches and into toasters.
My bread is made by sprouting wheat, then drying it and milling it into flour. I don’t add vital wheat gluten. I don’t add fruit juice or sugar. I don’t add anything except flour, starter, water and salt. In fact for my breads, I don’t use any refined white flour. They’re 100% whole grain. The result is more complex and delicious than any bread I’ve ever had, by a wide margin.
As I began to see what I’m making as a unique, artisan product, I started to think about what it would be like to turn this into a bakery. But for most of the next year, my thoughts were “Absolutely no. This is a hobby, not a business. Don’t go there.”
In March of 2017 I invented myself as Dreams Fulfilled. I saw that my job on this planet is to be a clearing in which people's dreams are fulfilled. And I admitted to myself and Susannah that my dream is to make a sprouted grain bakery.
Back in the 1990s I was a computer programmer. The way you go from one thing to the next in some computer languages is by putting two plus signs after it. My bread is the next thing in bread. It's not the same as bread. It's bread++!
Bread++ Sprouted Sourdough Bakery | 415-449-0494