A light and airy sourdough-style loaf from The Flour Station
There are fewer things more comforting in the winter than a big bowl of something steaming and a hunk of just-baked, proper bread. Be it vegetable soup, when an injection of vitamins is required, or a hearty bowl of beef stew, both benefit from being cushioned with comforting carby sustenance. When the wind has whipped your face, your hands are numb and you’re thinking such a dinner would be just the ticket, think no further than a loaf of tortano.
“We make our tortano by first baking potatoes,” says Heather of The Flour Station. “We then knead these into the bread dough, with the tasty skin included. It gradually breaks up, creating an extra fluffy crumb—like mashed potato.” And indeed it soaks up liquid like it, its light and open texture further ensured by the use of a traditional Italian biga—“a liquidy, highly active sourdough starter which translates into an airy loaf,” Heather explains. “The starch from the potatoes also means it’s great for dunking, as it won’t tear apart when wet.”
Delicious golden crust
The loaf, like The Flour Station itself, has Italian heritage—tortano is a traditional Neapolitan bread, often found stuffed with eggs or ham and shaped into a crown. The Flour Station’s version, which isn’t stuffed, is glazed with golden syrup, resulting in a delicious golden crust with just a hint of sweetness. “We changed the recipe a little bit recently from our original, replacing the honey to make it vegan-friendly,” adds stall manager Cesar. “It’s actually one of our best-selling products at the Market.”
Cut it into chunky rolls for burgers “to soak up the meaty juices”, or simply use it as your everyday go-to: “It’s the kind of bread that I can personally eat with anything,” Cesar shrugs. “I have it plain, or with a bit of butter.”