A Sourdough Gambit
Beautiful Crusty Loaves, Challahs, Babkas, Ruggelach and More, Made from Scratch for the High Holidays and Beyond
Adam Simon worked in finance for 20 years. Like many people during COVID, life as he knew it came to a halt and he was faced with a lot of time to contemplate his life choices and his kitchen skills. After reading an article about starters, he made a mother (she’s called Beast), and started baking sourdough from organic flour with his wife and two daughters out of their Upper West Side apartment.
After months of baking for themselves, in the summer of 2020, following months of quarantine, they decided to start a home bakery. As the 7pm claps and cheers for healthcare workers filled the streets, they delivered sourdough bread, pastries, and other goodies to the neighborhood and donated a portion of their sales to a local charity.
The project was a fun lark for Adam’s family, a beautiful way of bonding and enjoying each other in a time when so much fear and trauma raced through the city. But for a guy who spent 20 years in finance, something significant had changed. He never did return to the office.
“After 20+ years of working in finance, I had found a new passion and leaned in,” he said. “Since then, I have worked at two bakeries, obsessively read and watched everything I could about bread, and baked countless loaves for friends and family; all with the goal of becoming a better baker.”
He founded Sourdough Gambit, a bakery inspired by his love of chess, which his father taught me how to play when he was 5. “I still enjoy playing in Washington Square Park on occasion,” he said. “Chess demands discipline and precision, but allows for beautiful creativity as well. I would say the same about sourdough baking.”
Adam uses only organic flour mixed with The Beast, as well as lots of whole grains. In addition to whole wheat, he plays with Rye, Spelt, Einkorn, Khorasan, and Semolina. In addition to nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, he often include more adventurous ingredients like spices, porridges and purees. Take his Moroccan loaf for instance: he uses imported Moroccan olives, preserved lemons, and Za’atar.
His menu includes a variety of sourdough breads, as well as challahs, babkas, ruggelach, and maple cardamom knots which he bakes at The Entrepreneur Space, a food and business incubator in Long Island City, New York.
For the high holidays he’s making round challahs, apple raisin babka and fennel loaves in addition to his regular slate of products.
I’ve had his sourdough and it’s fantastic—a thin, crisp, crusty exterior that gives way to a chewy, airy crumb that’s nutty and just slightly tangy, complex and delicious in every way. If you love the breads at Brooklyn’s ACR, you will want his loaf in your hands too. Order it here.
Sourdough Gamibt now delivers to much of Manhattan between Tribeca and Harlem. See FAQ page on website for specific zip codes and delivery fee. https://www.sourdoughgambit.com/faq
They are at Chelsea Farmers Market on Saturday 9/24. Pre Order online for pickup or come as you are between 9AM-2PM. The market is on West 23rd Street..
Happy Rosh Hashannah!