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  • What is sourdough bread?

    Sourdough bread is made with natural leavener (referred to as a starter). This starter is a live culture of wild yeast and bacteria that ferment flour and water causing the bread to rise. 

    Sourdough is known for several characteristics. Sour flavour, extended shelf life and improved digestive qualities. Its tangy flavour is caused by the bacterias’ release of acids during the fermentation process. These acids are a natural preservative that prolongs the shelf life and deters the growth of mold. The fermentation process breaks down the carbohydrate and protein (gluten) molecules which results in greater digestibility.

  • Is all your bread sourdough?

    Yes. In fact, all of our bread and pastry are both sourdough. 

  • Why are your pastries sourdough, what does that mean?

    We use sourdough culture in all of our pastries. It provides a unique texture to the crumb as well as helps extend shelf life and improve digestibility. There is no prominent ‘sour’ taste in our pastries.

  • What do we mean when we say our bread is “high hydration”?

    Hydration simply refers to the ratio of water to flour in the dough. A lower hydration dough means the flour has not absorbed its full capacity of water. While a higher hydration dough is closer to absorbing its full capacity of water. 

    There are two important benefits for high hydration dough: Longer shelf life and improved digestibility. The higher water content results in a bread that dries out slower and improves the shelf life by 3-5 days. Improved digestibility results from the bread’s ability to break down much easier in the body. 

    A basic sourdough usually falls within 60-70% hydration. At Dear Grain, we aim for dough above 80% hydration. This results in a bread that is super digestible.

  • Why is our sourdough bread more flavourful?

    Our sourdough breads are more flavourful due to the slow fermentation process, up to 36 hours. During this process the natural bacteria have more time to break down the flours’ starches and gluten. This results in the release of more natural sugars, acids and CO2 into the dough - which attribute to the flavour.

  • Why is our sourdough bread more digestible?

    The long fermentation process and higher hydration in our bread allow it to break down very easily in the digestive system. If you compare the fermentation process to chewing, the longer you chew your food the easier your body can digest it. Essentially, the bacteria in the dough start the work for us. Breads with low hydration levels will absorb water from your digestive system in order to dissolve. Higher hydration breads, such as ours, do not require this additional water. This is why our breads do not cause bloating or slow down digestion the same as common, lower hydration breads.

  • Why does our bread have a dark crust?

    Our goal is always to achieve a darker, golden mahogany coloured crust. A darker crust in sourdough is an indication of proper long fermentation. When the bacteria breaks down the starches, they release sugars. These sugars caramelize in the hot oven and create a darker, more flavourful crust. 

    A darker crust also helps preserve the humidity in bread and helps keep it fresh for longer.

  • Do you have gluten free bread?

    Our breads are not gluten free. However, many of our customers find our bread to be gluten friendly. Our Nordic Loaf is wheat free and made out of ancient grains, which results in our lowest gluten content.

  • Why is sourdough bread more gluten friendly?

    The longer fermentation process the bacteria break down the gluten bonds. There is therefore a reduction in the amount of gluten in the bread. The longer the fermentation, the more gluten friendly the bread will be.

  • Is your bread made with whole grains?

    YES! We use whole grain in all of our staple loaves. Our Country, and Seeded dough include whole spelt flour. Our Porridge dough includes whole spelt flour, a mix of whole grain rice and whole barley. The Nordic Loaf is 100% whole grain.

  • Is your bread made with organic flour?

    We aim to use at least 50% organic flour in our breads. Our Nordic Loaf is 100% organic flour. 

  • Are the pastries made with organic flours?

    Yes, our pastries are made with primarily organic flours.

  • Where else can we buy your sourdough bread?

    We work with many stockists across the Greater Hamilton and Toronto Areas. They are listed here: Dear Grain Stockists

  • Do you sell your starter?

    Yes, both our Ossington and Vine St shops have starter available for purchase daily. Looking to learn more? See our guide for Dear Grain Sourdough Starter

  • Can my bread be sliced?

    Unfortunately, we cannot slice bread in the store. Due to the high hydration level and freshness of our bread it is too delicate to slice the same day with common commercial slicers. However, we do sell frozen sliced loaves in the freezer. You can slice your fresh loaf at home with a good, sharp knife.

  • How should the bread be stored?

     If the bread will be consumed in a few days, we recommend you place it in a cloth or paper bag and keep it in a dry place. You can also store it in a plastic bag, however this will cause the crust to be more chewy. You can also freeze the bread for a month or two in a plastic bag. Many of our clients like to half the loaves or preslice to freeze. Never store your loaf in the refrigerator - the starch molecules in bread recrystallize very quickly at cool temperatures, and cause the bread to stale much faster when refrigerated.

  • How do I place an online order?

    Ordering can be placed through our website or you can use these direct links: Ossington Avenue and Vine Street

  • When is ordering available?

    Online ordering is available daily at the time the store opens. We offer same day pickup.

  • Do you accept orders over the phone?

    We are not accepting phone orders. To place an order, please use our online ordering platform listed above.

  • Do you provide catering or take large pastry orders?

    For large catering or pastry orders please contact and let us know the quantity of items you require and the location, date and time of pick up. Someone from our team will respond to let you know if it is possible. We strongly encourage a minimum of one week notice for pre orders.