The History of San Francisco Bread

The History of San Francisco Bread

The history of San Francisco Bread begins in the West Coast city of San Francisco, just over a century ago. This bread, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, was made with a long, slow rising process and was characterized by high hydration. With its slightly lactic scent, given by sourdough, it was immediately loved by all its inhabitants.

In the mythical years of the Gold Rush, this bread was at the center of an ancient ritual, widespread among local miners: legend tells that gold miners used to share and eat it together before facing the hard and dangerous days of work. Thus, this bread became over time a symbol of prosperity and good luck. Fishermen, on the other hand, used to take the loaves with them out to sea and use them as bowls in which they enjoyed tasty fish soups.

Initially it was thought that San Francisco was the only place where this type of sourdough bread could be produced: local bakers swore that no one could reproduce it beyond a 50-mile radius of the city.

Today we know that this is not true because in 1971, just in San Francisco, scientists identified for the first time the strain of lactic ferments responsible for the extraordinary organoleptic qualities of this bread. In honor of the city where it was first isolated, the lactic ferment that characterized it took the name "Sanfranciscensis."

Today it is well known that there are many different types of sourdough in the world, but that "Sanfranciscensis" always remains the dominant lactic ferment.

San Francisco Bread is still prepared today in respect of the ancient recipe. Maybe to commemorate the great saint, it is embellished with a characteristic cross-shaped incision, which makes it unique as its flavor.