Food

Sour House in Bengaluru specialises in naturally fermented products

On a roll: Sour House makes naturally fermented products such as sourdough breads, kombucha and kimchi

After following the much-charted path of studying engineering and then heading to the US for his Masters, Selvan Thandapani worked several different jobs. But the 36-year-old always knew he wanted to do something using his hands.

He tried carpentry and roasting coffee beans. Then, while living in Chennai he discovered an interest in baking. “I started making regular yeasted bread. But I was finding it very difficult to get good yeast. Someone randomly mentioned sourdough. I had lived in the US and my wife is British but I didn’t know much about sourdough at that point. I realised that you could actually grow your own sourdough starter. So, I slowly started learning about it just by watching YouTube videos and so on. I did that for almost a year and then got to a point where I was really interested in it and thought maybe it has a business angle to it,” he smiles.

After the couple moved to Bengaluru in 2016, during which time Selvan was working as a design consultant, things clicked. “I started baking a loaf of bread every week. My workplace lets me do it part time so I was working for three days and baking for three. This helped me stretch the concept and see if there was a market demand for fermented products.”

When it became clear that there was, in fact, a demand, Selvan started Sour House in March 2018, moving to the present space in Koramangala in January 2019 where he has three people working under him.

On the menu are five sourdough breads — seeded, whole wheat sour, dark, sour, olive — as well as baguettes. Apart from kimchi and hung curd, there are drinks such as kombucha, which comes in three flavours, as well as kefir water and milk kefir. Sour House also make special loaves from time to time such as a beetroot sour loaf topped with sesame seeds.

Talking about why people should try sourdough, Selvan says, “One, it is completely different to a regular loaf of bread. If you like bread, you should try it at least once because it has so much flavour and texture. Two, there are health benefits. It’s a prebiotic unlike something like kombucha which is a probiotic. Once you consume it, it’s good for your gut.”

Selvan will even help you make your own sourdough bread through workshops conducted once or twice a month. “No prior baking experience is required,” he assures.

While the present space has the capacity to bake 120 loaves, Selvan says that they will be shifting to a bigger space opposite the Koramangala Police Station in a week where they will be able to bake 200 plus breads in a day. “We want to do pastry and maybe sandwiches. The plan is to have a space where people can come sit down and enjoy the experience. It will be immersive; they can hang out and see what we do,”

Prices of the breads start at ₹150 for baguette and go up to ₹220 for a loaf. Place orders 24 hours prior. The products are available at select Nature’s Basket and Blue Tokai outlets. Call 9894062073 for more details.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 1:03:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/on-a-roll/article30790679.ece

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