September 19, 2011 - 6:25pm
Moro Restaurant (London) Sourdough video
I came across a video of making daily sourdough loaves at Moro Restaurant. They appear to use a very high percentage preferment (if judged by the amount of flour added to the mixer) and a short fermentation/proof time (40 minutes). He describes a 13-year old starter from grapes. The bread looks quite nice, so I wondered if any TFLers had tasted it and could give their thoughts. Thanks.
Thanks for that. Interesting how he doesn't seem to be too bothered about accurate quantities, despite being in a restaurant where, you might think, consistency would be desirable.
Reading Lumos' notes, consistency has been an issue.
the bread knowledge of this guy is likes my grandmother s.....almost none.
It was quite disappointing the first time I had their bread; soggy and seemed under proofed with not much flavour to write home about (though it was still better than many breads served in other restaurants). Looking at that bread, it was probably sliced and served soon after it was cooled, not having had given enough time to mature the flavour. It was especially disappointing because I'd heard so much reputation about their bread.
But the second and third time I went back there, the bread was much better. Might not be as good as sorts of sourdough bread TFLers bake themselves which is cold retarded for many hours, but still they were quite acceptable. Very rustique, like very old fashioned country loaves you'd find in rural areas in many European countries, I guess.
So, yes, they probably lacks in the consistency department, but they way he bakes is probably quite close to what farmers' wives and grandmothers used to bake in those countries in olden days, I suppose. He know how the dough should looks like, feels like, smells like, rather than relying on numbers on the scale, just like those old housewives used to make their bread.
But their foods are constantly excellent, though. It's worth going back their many times even if the bread you happened to get on the day happens to be below your standard. One of my very favourite restaurants in London these days. ;)
btw, the precise recipe is in one of his books (the first one, I think.....) if you want to know it.
Thanks for the video link. The explanation of the cooling racks was especially interesting. I thought they were there just to display the loaves within an easy reach from the chefs when serving. Didn't know they were actually there to cool the baked breads, too.
Thanks, Lumos, it's great to get a first-hand perspective. Obviously, if the bread didn't get you to return after your first visit, the food did. I hope to go there when I get back to London someday...
I'd love to try the recipe just because it looks so quick and we don't always have the time. I'll look for it, but it should also be possible to conjure up a formula.
The formula in the book is very simple one; it's more as a gentle introduction to a very basic sourdough loaf for people who've never made one. It's not for an advanced baker, but it's just like what farmer's wives used to make in olden days, as I said.
But if you like their sort of food (sort of amalgamation of Moor-inspired Spanish dishes and North African cuisine), their books are worth every penny; so inspiring and reliable. The restaurant opened nearly 15 years ago and been one of the most popular in London ever since. I only went there for the first time earlier this year (strongly recommended by Daisy_A) , and as soon as I tasted the first dishes I really understood what the fuss was about.
On that day, I didn't see Sam in the kitchen (it's an open kitchen so you can see everything from your tables), so it may well be someone else was in charge of baking breads, or it was so packed when we arrived so they had to serve the bread without resting it enough to settle the flavour. Whatever the situation of the first time might've been, the bread at the two later occasions were quite satisfactory.