Boudin, SF Sourdough…Baked Fresh!

Boudin SF Sourdough

Boudin SF Sourdough

Hello Everyone, I am back! Many of you know that I was gone for awhile helping my mother who had to have surgery. I flew down to California and spent ten days there. My mom is recovering nicely and I thank those of you who emailed me with your support. What I want to share with you concerns my flight back home. I had a four hour stayover at the San Francisco Airport. I met a terrific lady named Julie from California, we both got delayed on the same flight and took an earlier flight. We spent the four hours gabbing and having fun. We decided to find some lunch when we arrived at the San Francisco airport. San Francisco airport is a great place for finding lunch. They had so many choices of cuisine that you can find lots to choose from. I wanted to check out the Boudin Bakery with freshly baked bread, they offered some great sandwiches using the Boudin rolls. Julie also wanted to check out the San Francisco sourdough lunch possibilities, so we heading in Boudin’s direction. I ordered a Caesar Chicken sourdough sandwich on a sourdough roll, and Julie ordered a half sandwich and salad. The sandwich was soooo good. The sourdough roll was thick, chewy and delicious and the filling was real grilled chicken, greens and Caesar dressing. I also bought a 1.5 lb sourdough boule. I wanted to bring it home because I have wanted to taste the real freshly baked Boudin Sourdough for a long time. I have had it before, but it was always days old and in a plastic bag. Those of you familiar with sourdough (everyone reading this blog?) know that sourdough is best on the day it is baked. The breads that were lined up behind the counter looked terrific, they had boules, long baguettes and batard style loaves as well as rolls and their famous sea creature shapes.

Boudins Boule

Boudin's Boule

 I will tell you hands down that the Boudin sourdough was definately better when bought and eaten on the same day it was baked. I will also tell you honestly… and you are not going to like this…that it isn’t as good as we all imagine it to be or it has fallen off on taste as the years have gone by, or homemade sourdough is just the best. I know many of you will probably blast me for saying this, but my own homemade sourdough is better tasting. I’m guessing that if many of you bought a loaf to compare it to your sourdough, you might say the same. The flavor of the Boudin’s sourdough is sour, but it is a vinegary sour and is lacking the complex aroma and flavors I equate with really terrific sourdough. The crumb is somewhat dense and dryish. Their crust is still something to aim for though, I will also be honest and say that I need to work on my crust more to have it equal the color and thickness of Boudin’s sourdough.

Boule

Boule

 

Boudins Crumb

Boudin's Crumb

 

All Gone!

All Gone!

If you can’t bake your own sourdough, Boudin’s would still rate as a really good sourdough, their crust is still unbeatable. However, for the taste testing we did in my family, homemade was better by far. We also taste tested La Brea’s Sourdough when I was in California last year and it tested out better than San Louis Obispo, Boudin and a few other competitors. So yes, although you may have thought it impossible, you probably can bake better tasting bread than Boudin, except maybe their crust….

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11 Responses

  1. I always thought homemade was better too! Although I still have a ways to go to get the perfect taste I want. And I am from CA. I remember the taste from when I was younger. Things change as the years go by, maybe that is why I like to bake more. Do we all try and relive some of our youth? hummm, memories…..

    • After spending 3 year in China, where the bread can be surprisingly good, I was dying to taste Boudins SD again. Armed with 6x loaves I spirited them home to my family who were eagerly awaiting this treat…but… we were all very disappointed by how ordinary the bread was. The crust was chewy and nice but the crumb was dense and boring. How truely disappointing..thanks for the tips on other bakers in San Francisco, I wont waste my time going to Boudins again, it certainly wasn’t value for taste or money.

  2. I live in the Bay Area and Boudin is all over the place. It has basically become the Starbucks of sourdough so I can understand how the taste wouldn’t be spectacular for you. The next time you are in the area check out some of the smaller bakeries like Acme in Berkeley or Bordenave’s in San Rafael (over the Golden Gate in Marin County). These are the ones getting mentioned by name on local restaurant menus. OK, now I’m craving it, I think I’ll visit Bordenave’s tomorrow!

  3. Thankyou Suzanne, I needed to hear that and I will do just as you suggest when I go through SF next time,
    Teresa

  4. It’s nice when you realize that you are sophisticated enough not to be wowed over just by fresh bread, but can discern mediocre fresh bread from the really good stuff. Good for you.

  5. Teresa, I got into baking sourdough because last year a friend served me La Brea’s from Costco–I just LOVED it! I started buying the stuff but soon decided that for our budget’s sake (remember, I’m feeding 11 here) I should try to make it. I recently purchased more to see how it compared and was amazed to find mine better! Thank you for helping us all make great bread.

  6. Teresa, I know Boudin bread and there’s no doubt in my mind that yours is better!

  7. I’m glad you mentioned the flavor and aroma of Boudin SD. I bake what I consider to be very good SD 3 times a week on average. Last year I ordered some mail order from them to see how it compared. I had had wharf bread some years ago and loved the sourness and aroma.

    Bottom line is the bread was so artificially sour we all didn’t care for it at all. We didn’t finish the first loaf and tossed the second out. I can’t believe that it sours so much in the 2 days it took to get here. It must be the pressure of a commercial operation that has pushed them to do what they do.

  8. Hi. I am really excited to find your website. I have not made even my first loaf of sourdough bread. I am skilled at whole wheats and baking so I’m not a complete beginner. Would you mind doing a post on the basics of getting started? I think you should puplish a book this is a beautiful website!

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