“Sour Flour” is all about fermented foods, and it’s rising fast.
Story by Natalia DiGiosa Photos by Cherry Bouton
Ashley Golden is passionate about gut health, bringing the Eagle and Star Community organic sourdough bread, one loaf at a time in her home kitchen.
Ashley Golden’s sourdough bread stimulates all the senses: dusted floral designs, warm glow from the oven, crackling crust when it breaks, spongy center, and the tangy flavor of sourdough hitting your tastebuds.
Since posting on Facebook a call for orders, Ashley has been busy stretching, proofing, and scoring sourdough. She can bake 10 loaves daily in her home, and she can’t keep up with her growing waitlist of 50 with recurring patrons. Cinnamon rolls and Swedish buns with cardamom are also big hits.
Ashley’s new business “Sour Flower” is rising beyond her kitchen capacity.
“What’s catching people’s eyes is the designs scored with a lame. It’s bringing awareness to long ferment and what it does for bread. It’s just so much more digestible.” Ashley shares.
Before her sourdough culture kickoff, Ashley and her father were contestants on MasterChef, a televised cooking competition. This experience elevated her love of cooking. Afterward, she started hosting pop-up dinners in San Diego, where she sold limited seats to 5-course-meals at unique venues, such as flower farms with live music. Later with an incoming baby, Ashley took a hiatus and settled in Idaho.
What’s next for Ashley’s culinary career? For her, it’s all about fermentation.
“Sourdough is so much more digestible because it breaks down gluten as it’s fermenting.” Sourdough is one of the healthiest breads in terms of bioavailability and absorbing nutrients. Over the past decade research on gut health has expanded, linking gut health to a prime factor of disease. Since her mother’s passing of cancer and her father’s Crohn’s disease diagnosis, Ashley has taken interest in diets that support a balanced gut microbiome.
One requirement for MasterChef contenders is to have a dream project, and hers was to open a place for gut health. Now, Ashley wants to launch her home baking operation on a larger scale. The goal? Finding a space in the Eagle or Star area to open Sour Flower—a lunch spot, all about fermented foods.
“We’re trying to take things back the old way that has been done for 1000s of years where people naturally ferment food” And not the store-bought canned pickles, in which vinegar kills off natural bacteria that are good for health.
Sour Flower will serve top-notch fermented foods. Hot sandwiches with sourdough and house-made sauerkraut are just a few unique seeds Ashley has planted.
Ashley is working on Sour Flower branding, playing on images of flour and flowers, drawing to the main point of connecting back to nature, gut health, and tasty foods. “I love watching people’s expressions when they eat something that hits all the marks of what they call umami. It’s like their whole body is blissful.” With fermented foods “we can transport our microbiome back to the way it always has been, and it can taste good.”
In taking the next step, Ashley is open to collaborations, investments, and partnerships with businesses and community members. And while you wait for Sour Flower to find a home, you’ll just have to get on Ashley’s long waitlist for a loaf of bread.