I have been baking sourdough bread for more than a year now, and it occurs to me that I’ve learned an awful lot in that time. Not only how to knead dough by hand, or how to shape a loaf using minimal counter space, or how to take care of a starter – but also how to do it all in Beijing, where much of the equipment essential to baking hearth-style rustic loaves are not the most readily available.
But I’ve learned all of that too. How to improvise a banneton, or a couche. Where to find a baking stone, or freshly milled flour. I’ve discovered small Chinese baking shops on Taobao, and found other expats interested in bread baking.
I thought it would be nice to share this information with you, as without help I couldn’t have gotten started, either: specifically Eric A., and his article in the Insider’s Guide to Beijing, 5th edition (2009), p101, which led me to this wonderful shop. I hope you will find this equally helpful and exciting, whether you are baking bread or even just looking for help deciphering all the different varieties of flour available here.
Happy explorations, yeasted and otherwise
- Equipment & Supplies Glossary
- Baking Supplies Stores in Beijing
- Flour Glossary
- Flour Stores in Beijing
- Sourdough in China and other yeasted foods