“I feel [bread-making and pottery] go well together,” explains Aleth Ocampo. As a ceramicist, she practices a lot of patience towards her craft. And she says its also an essential virtue to have in baking. She marries both art forms in her day-to-day, alternating between dough-making, pottery-pinching, dough rising, clay setting, and baking. “People get so amused that I am doing so many things at the same time,” she admits; yet, she never wavers in producing high-quality results—be it her ceramics or her sourdough loaves.
Aleth’s “bread addiction” started a few years ago, after attending an artisan bread-making class. She got to take home some sourdough starter. But since she wasn’t a regular baker yet, she couldn’t deal with its upkeep. Nevertheless, she continued making yeast-based breads for her kids, whom she says she had spoiled to the point that “they now refuse to eat store-bought bread.”
Close to a year after, Aleth attended another bread-making class. Again, she got to bring home some sourdough starter, plus some excess flour to boot. She vowed not to waste her starter, so she began making random things with it. Pancakes, pizza, donuts—she made all of them. Soon enough, her friends started ordering her baked goods.
Through her business, Aleth sells three sourdough loaf variants: Regular or Plain Sourdough, Seeded Multigrain Sourdough with Cranberries, and Oat Porridge Sourdough with Walnuts. They’re all vegan, except the Seeded Multigrain Sourdough, which has honey. But it can be swapped for maple syrup, if requested.
The Oat Porridge Sourdough was our favorite. It had the slightest hint of sweetness, which balanced out the sour bread. And we loved the texture that both the oats and the walnuts added to each bite. The Seeded Multigrain Sourdough is great if you want a bit of fruitiness in your bite. It’s flavor was the farthest from your typical sourdough, but that’s what made it such a delight to (keep) eat(ing).
All of the loaves are priced at only PHP200 apiece—yup, we were just as surprised as you. We couldn’t believe that such high-quality bread could come at such an affordable price. The best part about all of the loaves, though, is that you can slice them up, keep them in the freezer, then re-heat as needed, and it comes out just as it was freshly-baked. (Trust us, we had them even after a few weeks of getting them—and they were still superb.)
Home-baked sourdough bread.